Antique picture frames can serve as aesthetically pleasing accents that give rooms a vintage feel. Taking proper care of picture frames is a vital part of prolonging their lifespan and keeping them in good condition. Common methods of care include dusting, cleaning out crevices, periodically wiping off grime and occasionally sanding. Properly employing these techniques should help most people preserve antique picture frames for years to come.
Dusting off antique picture frames is one of the easiest and best ways to keep them in optimal condition. Typically the best way to dust is to use a soft, dry cloth to thoroughly wipe down all four sides of the frame. This process should be completed approximately once every two weeks or so because dust tends to build up rather quickly.
Cleaning out crevices and other hard to reach places on picture frames is another good way to preserve them. This is overlooked, but it is still an important aspect of keeping frames in good condition. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to use a small, dry toothbrush to carefully remove any gunk that has accumulated. If the frame has extremely small crevices, then using a toothpick can help to reach those areas. This process only really needs to be done about once every six months or so because it takes a while for gunk to build up.
Wiping down antique picture frames to get rid of grime is also a good idea. An effective technique is to mix together a small amount of 50 percent denatured alcohol and 50 percent linseed oil into a small bowl or cup. Then dip a soft, clean rag into the mixture and wipe down all four sides of the frame. Keep in mind that it's usually best to first remove the picture from the frame to prevent any damage to the picture. This process also only needs to be done approximately once every six months.
Caring for antique picture frames may also require occasional sanding of chips or other abnormalities that might develop. Before sanding, it's wise to consider how modifying the frame might affect its value. Using a fine sandpaper of around 200 grit, stroke lightly on each side of the frame to eliminate any imperfections. Afterward use paint, stain or lacquer as needed to restore the finish in the sanded area.