Antique Furniture: A Classic Look Doesn’t Mean A Filthy Look.

February 26, 2012 · Posted in Family 

A true fan of antique furniture can often find as much underlying delight in admiring a well constructed piece as they can in outright ownership. Many people direct their love of vintage home furnishings not towards basic collecting, but towards finding pieces that are in poor condition or in need of repair, and attempting to return these wrecks to their original state. Although enthusiasm is the key to any hobby, in order to be productive, restoration also requires knowledge of a few basic areas.

One of the most frequent mistakes that most people make when dealing with antique furniture is the premise that all old furniture is automatically an antique. Being an antique indicates that an item meets certain predetermined requirements when it comes to relative age and overall economic value, as a reflection of that age. Unfortunately, most people are not very good at evaluating an item when it comes to age, often misunderstanding certain signs of poor maintenance or structural upkeep with a part of the natural aging process.

One thing that people just entering the antique furniture business often learn through an economically costly encounter is that when it comes to rare or sought after collectibles, any amount of restoration can actually damage the value of the item. Even though people generally detest dirty, worn-out items, when it comes to old stuff, those traits are admired as a sign of something’s character. Even though very few people will get the chance to operate on a true antique, almost everyone can find something that belonged to their grandparents that they want to restore, for the emotional appeal alone if nothing else.

The first step in any restoration project should be the evaluation of the piece in question and the creation of a working outline. The idea is to never make an antique furniture item look brand new; a polyurethane layer of finish on an old furniture item just looks ridiculous. Any foreign debris or material that cannot be taken off of the top level of the item with a minimal amount of effort is actually a part of the finish, and should be left. The best way to touch-up any old or fragile item is to apply solvents as close to a neutral PH level as possible, with a set of precision instruments.

Just like when it comes to preserving finish, the original materials used to make antique furniture, even those that may not be functioning completely or include all of the pieces are worth more to collectors than high quality replacement parts. Sometimes the extent of the damage is so severe that the item cannot function without a new leg, handle or runner; in any event, as much of the original material should be salvaged as possible. When it comes to hardware, digging through junk-bins and attics for replacement parts is just as much fun for most people as any other aspect of the project.

More thoughts concerning this subject can also be found at antique furniture and you may also want to check reproduction furniture. Heartfelt appreciation to Dennis Q. Morales for his continuous support for the success of the subject.


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