Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Furniture Restoration

These tips will help you restore antiques after fire or water damage.

Water Damage

  • Dry the piece out completely by putting it in a slightly warm area with a constant temperature of approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit and steady air circulation.
    NOTE: If the location is too hot, the wood will dry out too quickly and crack. If it's too cold, it will dry out too slowly and allow mold to grow in the wood.
  • Begin the drying process immediately or water will continue to seep into the wood and cause further damage.

Removing White Spots

  • Rub with a damp cotton cloth and a buffing solution composed of a 50/50 toothpaste and baking soda mixture.
  • Buff the area with another cloth.
  • If this doesn't remove the spots, a professional process will have to be used. (Hyperlink to restoration services)

Removing Black Spots

Black spots indicate that the water has eaten through the finish and into the wood where mildew is growing. The finish must be completely removed and the wood must be treated with bleach to kill the mildew before a new finish is applied. You may need professional help to remove black spots.

Repairing Buckled Veneer

  • Using a hypodermic syringe needle, inject a water-based blue thinned with 10 percent water between the furniture base and the buckled veneer.
  • Clamp the veneer to the piece using a sheet of plastic and a block of wood on top of the veneer.
  • Let dry well before removing.

Fire Damage

If your antique has suffered extensive scorching and singing it must be stripped and entirely refinished. For small facelifts, follow these steps:

Small Localized Burns

  • Apply a professional refinisher to the spot with a cotton swab.
  • Scrape the charred section off the piece with a penknife.
  • Apply a clear finish or paint to the site in small doses until the spot matches the appearance of the piece.

Getting Rid of Smoke Odors

To get rid of smoke odors in interior cabinet or drawers, put small air fresheners inside the furniture and the wood will absorb the freshener's scent.

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