The type of care and maintenance of Antique Wood Furniture need an understanding of the
- Nature of wood
- Protective finish on wood furniture
- Knowledge of prolonging the life of the finish film
Always remember to seek professional advice from
- An antiques expert
- Furniture restorer
Careless handling is the primary cause of damage to furniture.
- Furniture of any size, should be moved by grasping its sturdiest part
- Furniture should never be dragged
- Surfaces of the furniture should be free from alcohol and water
- Objects left on a piece of furniture for long time causes uneven facing
When exposed to direct sun for a long time
- The finish gets bleached
- The finish develops dark color
- Heat from the sun softens or develops cracks in the finish
Temperature and Humidity
Wood is a porous material and absorbs or loses water.
When humidity levels are high
- The wood swells
When humidity levels are low as in a dry weather the wood
- Develops cracks
- Veneer lifts
- Develops gaps in joints
Rapid fluctuations in humidity and temperature cause the greatest amount of damage
Furniture can withstand considerable variation in temperature and humidity provided the change occurs at a slow rate.
The ideal temperature and humidity levels are:
- In Winter it is 70 F with a relative humidity between 35 – 45%.
- In Summer it is 0 – 75 F with a relative humidity between 55 – 65%
Cleaning of the Furniture:
The Do’s and the Don’ts
- Do not use a polish containing silicone
- Dust with a soft dry cloth
- Wax the furniture with a good polish containing beeswax and carnauba wax once or twice a year
- Apply sparingly, and buff with a soft cloth
Do not use kitchen cleaners as they may scratch the finish
Do not use chemical cleaners or other commercial cleaners.
Know your furniture to keep it in prime condition.
Try to understand
- Its design and finish
- The type of wood used
- How it behaves in different environment
Furniture needs to be pampered to be in good condition by
- Appropriate use
- Swift repair in response to accidental damage
- Right environmental condition
Furniture generally requires a minimum of cleaning.
- A weekly light dusting together with a twice-yearly wax polishing
- More attention should be paid to the inlays, marquetry and to the veneers
In case your polishing cloth lifts a piece
- Keep the broken piece safely
- Contact a restorer
- Lacquer is also vulnerable to excessive handling
- Gilded fittings should not be cleaned since the gilt may easily be removed
Since ‘furniture’ is a ‘moveable article’ its shifting is vital to its function.
While shifting furniture remember to
- Balance the items evenly to avoid accidents
- Employ people to lift larger pieces
- Support its main body or the frame
- Never hold the items by their tops
- Do not drag an item of furniture
- Pieces with castors should be lifted to prevent the legs from breaking
- Detachable/sliding parts should be removed for easy moving
- Doors on shelves should be locked
Wood is particularly susceptible to the effects of light and heat.
- Direct sunlight causes wood to fade and lose its color
- Heat warps and shrinks wood
Click the link for more information. www.oldplank.com