Refinish Furniture

Furniture Restoration, Antique Restoration and Restoration Hardware

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Furniture restoration and antique restoration are pretty much synonymous. They involve antique and furniture cleaning and old wax removal using tools such as a sharpened dowel and steel wool along with furniture cleaner.

Tarnished and dirty pulls and hinges and other brass hardware are easy to clean and restore or in some cases when you have damaged or missing pulls and hinges it'll be necessary to replace them with Restoration hardware

Remove Wax and Polish Buildup

Much of the time the bad appearance of a finish is due to a build up of wax, polish and dust.

If there are carvings, indented panels, raised panels, embossing or any other types of nooks and crannies the polish - dust - other stuff combination is pushed in to make a quite deep accumulation.

Over time the accumulation will cloud the finish, diminish the appearance of the grain pattern and give a general appearance of not quite right. This is the time for furniture restoration.

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Restoration Hardware

Restoration hardware is available if you have some damaged or missing hardware that needs replacing.

Your old hardware can be cleaned with 0000 steel wool and some gentle rubbing. Don't rub too much though. You need to leave some tarnish in indented places to give evidence of age and just for aesthetic value.

If you do get a little too vigorous and rub too much away you can use some darkening solution to get the aged color back.

wood knobs

Wood knobs
stickley mission

Stickley Mission
Stainless steel

Stainless steel
old polished brass

Old Polished Brass
old iron

Old Iron

nickel or chrome

Nickel or Chrome

Antique furniture Restoration

Antique furniture Restoration includes removal of some added goodies in the mix of wax, polish and dust. A fireplace was as common as central heat is now back in the days that antiques were new furniture and the fireplace would add smoke particles to the air.
The kitchen stove and oil lamps added more particulates to the air to land on furniture surfaces.

Antique restoration can make a world of difference in the appearance of a piece of wood furniture and a restored antique will look many times better than a refinished antique.

Glass Finish
french antique gold

French Antique Gold
bright brass

Bright Brass
antique brass

Antique Brass
swivel mirror screws

Swivel Mirror Screws
swivel mirror hinges

Swivel Mirror Hinge

Furniture Cleaning

Furniture cleaning is the first step in furniture restoration. This type of cleaning could be considered the same as spring cleaning your house. Although your furniture is clean, there is a residue left from typical average daily cleaning and generally the average supplies won't do the necessary job to remove the residue.

Every time a piece of furniture is dusted, using a spray polish, liquid polish or wax, a small amount of dust and other particles are mixed with the polish or wax.

Cleaning Tools

There are several tools that are handy to keep around for the periodical job of buildup removal and general furniture restoration. After initial antique restoration these tools will help to keep your antiques looking good.

  • Furniture Cleaner
  • 0000 Steel wool
  • Toothbrush
  • Pencil size Dowel, sharpened, for corner and crevass cleaning
  • Soft cloth (Micro Fiber Cloth works good)
  • Small paintbrush (1 inch)
  • Paper Towels
  • Nitrile Gloves to keep chemicals from your skin.
  • Anything else that will work that won't damage your furniture

    Cleaner For Wax Removal and Furniture Restoration

    furniture cleaner This Furniture Cleaner will easily dissolve old wax and polish so that it can be easily removed.

    Many concoctions have been mixed to work as a cleaner through the years, some work and some don't.

    The modern day products are generally easier to use than concoctions that were used when antique furniture was just new furniture. Lots of build up on antiques are due to home made cleaners that didn't quite do the job.

    Many people suggest paint thinner. It will dissolve wax and polish, but leaves a whitesh residue of it's own which needs to be cleaned off.

    The easiest way to do the job is with a good commercial furniture restoration product designed for the job.

    This cleaner is a good heavy duty, yet gentle product that is linseed oil based and will make short work of removing wax, polish and dust build-up.

    0000 Steel Wool

    0000 Steel wool is handy for removing those stubborn spots that don't dissolve too readily.

    Generally when you use 0000 steel wool on a small area, you will need to use it equally over the whole connected surface, because when you rub a small spot it will be noticeable. If the finish is more of a sheen than a shine it won't be noticeable if you rub, for instance, a whole top, but not the vertical surfaces.

    It isn't a good idea to use 0000 steel wool on a high gloss finish, because it will lessen the glossiness.

    Be sure to always test any procedure that you do on an inconspicuous place.

    See more about steel wool.

    Toothbrush As A Cleaning Tool

    A toothbrush is one of the handiest cleaning tools you can find for removing things you don't want from cracks and crevasses, carvings and embossings, or any other irregular surface.

    A soft bristle toothbrush is better to use, as a stiff bristle brush could scratch the finish of your antiques or regular furniture.

    Pencil Size Dowel

    A Dowel can become one of the handiest cleaning tools in your cleaning tool kit.

    If a finish is fragile, rubbing with a toothbrush too much can make it even more fragile, so you can get out your trusty dowel sharpened with a pencil sharpener when you have indented areas to clean out. The sharp point of the dowel can gouge if it's dry so be very careful. With care the sharpened dowel can remove gluck from even the most delicate carvings. The sharp point will soften as it gets soaked with cleaner, so keep your pencil sharpener handy.

    Small Paint Brush

    A small paintbrush, approximately 1 inch wide is real handy for daubing cleaner on raised or indented areas and on the narrow places on turnings and spindles.

    Soft Cloth and Paper Towels

    A Micro Fiber Cloth is handy for final cleaning and buffing.

    There's lots of wiping to do in furniture restoration cleaning and paper towels are the least expensive wipers. It's best to use the more absorbent and softer paper towels. After the initial heavier amount of residue is removed with paper towels and cleaner you can give a final cleaning with fresh cleaner and soft cloth. It's best to use soft clothes on fragile antiques.

    Other Renovation Cleaning Tools

    Anything you can find around the house that will be gentle on the finish and will work is fair game to use. Cotton swabs are real good helpers. String really simplifies cleaning the narrow areas on spindles.

    Metal Container With a Metal Lid

    The metal container with a lid. is very, very important. Almost every kind of cleaner, polish and wax are volatile and if left in a pile can cause spontaneous combustion. Even a used polishing cloth stored in a plastic bag in a closet or cabinet is a potential candidate for spontaneous combustion.

    Be sure to dispose of used paper towels, used cloths and any residue in a safe manner.

    Furniture restoration is enjoyable and beneficial and should always be done in a safe manner. Also see Furniture Restoration Procedure and Furniture Cleaner. - Online Art Supplies
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