Something Old, Something New: How To Spruce Up Wooden Antique Furniture

Whether you're going to keep it or sell it to a furniture dealer, your present situation is the same: you've acquired some antique furniture. The problem is that your delightfully ancient wooden chair or table or desk is looking a little old. Before you can show it off or sell it, you need to make sure it's back to its former glory.

If you're looking for a few quick tips and tricks towards making your 'something old' look like something new, then here's what you need to know:

Tip #1: Look at the Clock -- and Your Wallet

It's always important to make sure you've set enough time aside for your project. But you may want to make sure that you've set aside more time than you think you'll need, because antiques tend to have a nasty habit of hiding their flaws. Set aside a couple more hours than you think you'll need -- and a bigger space than you'd guess -- and you should be right where you need to be. 

Besides looking simple, restoring antique furniture can also cost a lot more than you'd think. Do some research to find out exactly when your piece hails from, what it's made of, and what it'll take to get it looking serviceable again. When in doubt, try to talk to someone with a little experience in antiques -- they may know what materials to use (and more importantly, what substances to avoid).

Tip #2: Clean it up

Cleaning doesn't just mean going at it with a damp cloth, however; you'll need to first determine whether there's a finish on your piece of furniture or not. The test is pretty simple -- touch the wood, being cautious of splinters. If you can feel the grain, it's unfinished. If so, you'll need to finish the wood before you do anything. If not, then the wood is pre-finished (which the majority are), and you can proceed.

For finished wood, take a rag spritzed with a mixture of warm water and vegetable oil-based soap, and go to town. Make sure to get every small nook and cranny, using a soft toothbrush for those hard-to-reach places.

Tip #3: Take Care of Scrapes

There's a really easy way to get scrapes and scratches off your wood, and it involves only one piece of equipment: a walnut. Rub the nut on the damaged areas, pressing firmly but not hard enough to break the walnut. After a few strokes, you'll be amazed how quickly those ugly scratches disappear.

Want more help? Contact a company like Bucks County Estate Traders with any questions or concerns you have.