Thursday, July 24, 2014

Love and Care for Antique Furniture

One of the most expensive hobbies is collecting antique furniture and owning a piece is definitely an asset.  The value and worth may vary depending on how old it is; the type of wood, where it was made, its design and style, craftsmanship level and the condition. It is certainly a must take necessary efforts to preserve them because aside from that, you shed off a lot of money. These antiques have been passed down from one generation to the next and hence, generous care is expected to safeguard its timeless value. It is not just merely dusting and cleaning them but understanding how vulnerable they are to damage and making special attempts to keep them in good condition. Besides furniture are meant to last for a lifetime.

Here are tips to make your antiques not just scratch-free but also of high-priced tags maintained to.

Humidity

Antique furniture is invariably exposed to fluctuations in weather and temperatures. This is a threat because constant expansion and shrinking due to temperature changes could result to crackle and splitting. To remedy this, try to place your antique collections in a fairly consistent room temperature. If it will cause you to invest in a humidifier, then let it be. What is a bit of money in comparison to preserve your own bigger investment? It is all worth it since a humidifier will stabilize air and therefore, extend its life to another century. Attics, garages and basements are not agreeable places to stock furniture due to unpredictable environmental conditions.

Sunlight

  • Ultra violet rays of the sun as well as artificial lights can significantly alter the color of the finish of antique furniture.
  • Remove your antique furniture far away from places where there is direct sunlight. The rays will cause bleaching and cracking of the wood.
  • The use of blinds and curtains may help minimize direct sunlight.
  • UV filters can be used on the windows.
  • Heavy-duty drapes can help reduce exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays.
  • Furniture can be treated with furniture oil or wood polish purposely designed to protect wood from ultra violet destruction.
  • Never display antique furniture besides fireplaces or baseboard heaters, over heat vents and air-conditioning because heat that comes from these sources will worsen the delicate state of the antique piece.

Cleaning

  • To avoid scratches, dust your antiques with a slightly dampened cloth at least once a week and polish it with furniture wax every three to four months to allow it to shine. Beeswax polishes are usually the ideal ones while silicone-based products are not suggested as they hold dirt and dust.
  • Avoid using furniture polish or any kind of spray because chemicals used can actually damage and stain the wood permanently.
  • Clean your wooden antiques with orange oil once a week.
  • Immediately clean any liquids or spillages that fall on the wooden surfaces. Water can simply be wiped off immediately. However, solvents should be dabbed with a soft cloth as wiping it off can cause further damage.
  • Do not place potted plants on furniture and use coasters for drinks.

Lifting and moving

  • If you want to move your antique furniture, always cushion it and cover the item.
  • Make sure that all moving parts, like the drawers, shelves and doors are removed.  Elements that impossibly cannot be removed should be secured with soft cloth straps.
  • Wear protective gloves when handling the furniture.
  • Check for loose parts by inspecting each item before moving.
  • Furniture should always be lifted during transfers.
  • Never carry tables by the table top, instead, carry them by the legs and grasp chairs by the seat instead of the back or arms.
  • To prevent extreme stress on the legs and feet, lift furniture rather than dragging them. It can cause them to break off.
  • Only move your antique furniture if necessary with care. If you need to move it, do it with utmost care.
  • If it would be transported by a vehicle, pad the items from contact with the vehicle and from each other. Cabinets should be empty and upright.

Therefore, if you want to add elegance and style to beautify your home, antique furniture may be the answer. However, make sure you don’t have little kids running around because they absolutely don’t go along well. Bear in mind that the most valuable characteristic of antique furniture is its age, which is usually older than 100 years. If you have meticulously taken care of your antique furniture, you will be remembered because you have passed down your antique furniture to your grandchildren’s children.

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