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What are the Most Common Furniture Restoration Tips?

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  • Written By: Sonal Panse
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2016
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Restoring furniture is often necessary for furniture that sees regular use, and knowing the essential furniture restoration tips can help you care for your furniture better over the years. The first thing to do is to assess the type and extent of the damage. There are different furniture restoration tips, depending on the kind of furniture restoring that is desired. In some cases, particularly when it comes to antique furniture restoration, special care is needed, and it may even be advisable to consult or hire an expert for the furniture restoring. A badly done furniture restoration, especially in the case of antique furniture, could disfigure the piece and lower its value.

Generally, after a furniture piece has been built, it is coated with a finish to protect it from stains, discoloration, moisture and other damages. When this protective coating proves ineffective or wears away, the wood underneath can be affected and it may become necessary to carry out some furniture restoration. If the damage is on the surface, it is more easily treated than stains that have penetrated deep into the wood.

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With surface stains, a common method is to carefully clean the surface with a soft cloth or steel wool dipped in an appropriate solvent like water or mineral spirits. A putty knife can be used to dislodge hard deposits, taking care that the wood surface does not get scratched in the process. Applying ice is a surefire way of removing gum deposits; the ice hardens the gum and then it comes off easily. After cleaning, the surface should be allowed to dry, and then buffed and repolished.

For moisture-related problems, like the white discoloration in lacquer- and shellac-finished furniture, it will help to buff the wood surface with steel-wool dipped in linseed oil. To remove moisture-related black spots and ink stains that have penetrated the wood, it may be necessary to strip the finish first. The stains are then removed by scrubbing with mineral spirits or by bleaching.

The furniture restoration tips for scratches include rubbing the scratched surface with walnut meat and hard paste wax. The surface is then polished with a soft cloth and refinished. Deeper scratches are usually filled with a wax retouching stick. Once the scratches have been treated, the surface should be polished.

To treat dents in the furniture, common furniture restoration tips include removing the finish and moistening the area. The water penetrates the wood and swells it, raising the dent. It is also possible to use a commercially prepared solution instead of water. It can generally take a day or two for the wood to respond to this kind of treatment.

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