Don’t avoid your favorite antique stores or yard sales because of the fear of musty wood furniture. Kevin’s expertise is the result of more than 20 years’ experience working with and learning about wood finishes and furniture repair and refinishing. Fourth, restoration should be detectable under close scrutiny, to insure that future caretakers and scholars are not confused or misled by what may appear unaltered to casual or uninformed viewers. You can use any metal cleaner that can be purchased at a supermarket as these are as good as any other cleaning product that we have used in the past.
Looks like the previous owners used and abused this thing, like a sixty year old hooker from Reno. Dehumidifying is especially handy if the furniture has been kept for years in a damp or dank area. In many instances the goal of the cleaning procedure is much more than simply removing dirt; it may involve removing contaminants integrated with or attached to the coating. A foyer can look nice with an old wooden mirror to warm it up. Often these can be found in mahogany or walnut frames at thrift stores or even Etsy and Ebay.
After sanding, I pull out my Murphy Oil Soap and spray everything down to clean off the dust, grim and old wax in preparation of the next step. Lemon juice (vapors): Likewise, I bet on the citric acid to reach everywhere inside the furniture. Most furniture finishers develop an intuitive understanding of the materials they use. A lot of old finishes were applied with a multi-layer” process or were sprayed on with the stain mixed in with the finish.
That said, I think there are very strong reasons to stick with the original wood finish. Much better than the bad old days when your only choice was pure caustic soda, nasty stuff! I have 3 types of businesses in my garage – staging, furniture – and a ton of paint, Venetian plaster…metallic plaster, Tuscan textures, tints, glazes, gold leaf etc (all for my decorative painting business). Technically, an antique is a piece of furniture with special value because of its age, particularly those pieces embellished with fine artistry.
To finish off wipe the surface with white spirit on a clean cloth in the direction of the grain and once dry, give the piece of antique furniture a very good wax (if you use a coloured wax this will hide some old dents and scratches). This process was used to give the piece a more uniform” look and hide the variations” in the wood grain. These were the less likely to hurt the furniture but also the less likely to work since they affected only the surface of the wood. After searching for bedroom furniture for 4 months, I purchased a refinished armoire and a dresser.
I think I have tried almost every product and process out there and this is the one that works best for me. The final result is, in my opinion, exactly what you want when you strip furniture whether you are going to paint or stain! The current condition of an object, its intended use and current use all play a major roll in the restoration process. Refinishing wood is not an act of restoration or preservation; this is a permanent change being made to a valuable antique. But commercial products are not the only perpetrators of myths about oil on furniture.
Here it is with one coat…just to show how easy it is to give a slight color change and a nice shine to old wood stained furniture with the Minwax Polyshades product. Thank you for your inquiry, sometimes using wire wool with a paint stripper can cause the wood to turn black. Leave the drops on the wood for about an hour, if it unmoved after that time it is probable that you have a seal such as a Varnish on there. I have a tenant who works for a commercial laundry service and she brings me old towels!
Antique furniture has lots of different metal fittings like handles, hinges, key escutcheons, tilting bolts, locks, clash moulds, pulls, brackets and castors. It really makes you appreciate how much work and knowledge it takes to repair and restore old furniture. This drawer definitely smell less then all the others now, but the smell is not totally gone. After you have stripped all the old finish, wash the entire piece with clean rags and mineral spirits. When you polish your furniture, you are really polishing the finish and helping it to continue to help protect the wood. Came across your post while trying to find solution for cleaning out dresser drawers.