Owners of vintage furniture are usually aware that it is fragile and demands special maintenance. That doesn't necessarily involve any expensive cleaning products or special cleaning approach. In fact, cleaning your antique chair can be a great fun, especially when you see the magnificent result in the end. Whether you have just purchased one or it was left in the barn for years, the following steps will help you restore its original brilliance.
1. Removal of the fittings and overall hoovering
Put the piece of furniture in a convenient for cleaning place and bring on the vacuum cleaner. Make sure to clean it properly, do also the back and underneath, where cobwebs can usually be found. If there are any drawers, take them out and clean inside, under and behind them. Removal of dust is the first step of the cleaning process. Be careful with the vacuum machine, you don't want to cause any scratches to your valuable furniture. Once you are ready, remove the fittings. It is important to do that as smoothly as possible. Otherwise, you may break something
2. Pre-cleaning inspection
Now is the time to check if any furniture repairs need to be done. In case there is any loosen veneer, stick it carefully with an animal glue or a wood glue. Do not use any other types of glue because you may damage the veneer. Check the feet and moulding as well and if necessary tighten them up. Inspect the furniture for deep scratches and if there are any fill them with a wax stick. Repairing any damages before cleaning is a good way to maintain vintage furniture in excellent condition.
3. Preparation of the cleaning arsenal
You will probably want to keep the vintage furniture gleaming as long as possible, so it is not a good idea to use any harmful chemicals. A wood soap mixed with warm water would be a safe choice. Prepare also a linen cloth, a cotton cloth and a toothbrush for difficult to reach places. While you are cleaning the furniture, don’t rub hard and don’t use a lot of water. This may damage the veneer.
4. Starting with the cleaning
Great environment friendly way to clean the furniture is to mix a small amount of the wooden soap in warm water. Soak the linen cloth in it and start rubbing the furniture gently. Use the toothbrush to clean any hidden places. When you clean all areas, leave for several minutes and then wipe off the soap using a wet clean cloth. If there are stubborn dirty areas, rub them with a little bit of vinegar or turpentine. Once you have cleaned the whole item, wipe it with a dry cotton towel.
5. Polishing the vintage furniture
When the furniture is dry, it is time to restore its glamour. Depending on its type, there are several ways to do that. In case the item was oiled, you only need to buff it with a clean clothing for several minutes until it starts shining. If you discover that it was waxed, put a small amount of wax on the clothing and polish it. When it comes to antique furniture, regular and silicone-based polishers should be avoided.
Now that you have restored the beauty of the vintage furniture, don’t forget to dust it regularly but only with a wet rug. This will prevent the build-up of grime. Keeping this type of furniture out of sunlight is another useful tip. Ultraviolet light has a very bad effect on it. Take a good care of your cosy vintage couch and you will be able to enjoy it for a very long time.
This has been a quest post by Demi Giles.
Demi Giles knows a lot about cleaning and keeping care of vintage furniture. One of her many hobbies is to share her experience related to cleaning, organizing and DIY. She`s also a manager of her own cleaning agency.
Photo credit: Prairie Charm
Text credit: Demi Giles