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Discover How to Cherish Your Antiques Using These Key Tips!

by Ann Ferguson

Looking for an excuse to go through all your antiques? Now you do! This National Cherish an Antique Day is your chance to dig through the history of every antique and see what you can bring into your home.

Every antique has a unique story around it, especially if it has been in the family for generations, so why not take the time to learn about it? And if you find something your grandparents loved, you can restore it and gift it back to them so they can relive those precious memories.

No matter what you choose, we'll help you give your old antiques some TLC and keep them going strong!

Dust & Polish

Hand dusting antique chair

If your antiques have been sitting in storage a while, dust is your number one concern. So, before you do anything, make sure to take a soft cloth and gently dust off every piece. And if you want to keep odors at bay, make dusting your antiques part of your regular cleaning routine.

After you've dusted, you can give your furniture a light polish. But since the natural wood of antique is part of its appeal, you'll want to use a natural wax like beeswax or carnauba. Or you can use Myland's wax or Zero-VOC to give them a soft shine.

Smooth the Damages

Sanding down antique wood

When it comes to antiques, sometimes chips and dents add more character to them. But if you're dealing with unsightly cracking or rot, it's important to fix those.

  • Cracks: Use a combination of sawdust and clear shellac to fill the gaps. Then when it's dry, sand it down until it is smooth.
  • Dent Removal: For dents on tables, lightly sand down the finish by going with the grain, place a damp towel on the dent and keep it flat, then carefully iron over the towel until the dent vanishes. Level it out with sandpaper once it's dry and apply the finish of your choosing.
  • Dings: Use a craft or utility knife to remove loose bits around the ding, sand down uneven spots, clean with a damp cloth and lemon juice, and add the finish of your choosing once that's dry.
  • Rot: Remove the rotted wood and use a screwdriver or other tool to chisel the wood, then create a mold using a mixture of shellac and sawdust. Let the mold dry in place, then level or shape the mixture with sandpaper, match the stain, and add the finish.


Person staining wood chair

Antiques have a unique style, but they still might need a little revamping, even with an aged patina. To do that, you'll want to use products that will match the original color of the finish. For instance, coffee works for darker-tone antiques while balsamic vinegar works great for cherry finishes.

Be sure to avoid stripping down the original finish, and DO NOT ever use a spray polish. But if you want to make the finish really shine, you can use a variety of natural oils:

  • Vinegar & Olive Oil: Mix 2 tablespoon of vinegar and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a jar, stir well, then use a cloth to wipe down the wood as you go with the grain.
  • Coconut Oil & Lemon Juice: Clean the surface with a damp cloth, dry it out, and add coconut oil and lemon juice in a jar and stir. Then use a dry cloth to add a thin coat of oil and let it sit for 10 minutes. This method works great on oak wood!
  • Canola Oil: Take ¾ cup of canola oil, mix it with ¼ cup of vinegar, and then rub it into your oak furniture. The oak will absorb the ingredients.
  • Linseed Oil: Add a single coat to give your wood a yellow tint.

Proper Storage

Antique dresser with nice patina

One way you can prevent damage is by storing your antiques properly. You'll need to place them in a temperature-controlled and humidified room so that they stay in pristine condition.

But if you don't have a place like that in your home, store them wherever you have room. Just make sure to avoid placing them in direct sunlight or somewhere damp. Too much sun can discolor your antiques, dry them out, and cause cracking or fading. While moist or damp areas are the conditions for mold to grow and odors to linger.

Create New Memories

Once you've beautifully restored your antiques, find a place for them in your home and make new memories! And if you don't have enough pieces to create a whole look, don't worry; That's what we're here for! At Westco Home Furnishings, you can find traditional-style furniture with the vintage appeal you crave!

And if you have any questions about furniture, please give us a call or stop by! We're more than happy to assist with your furniture needs.