There are items in our homes that contain a sentimental value, and they deserve some excellent furniture restoration. Breathing new life into an item is not an easy process, but it’s worth the efforts when you have a beautiful furniture item to cherish for years to come.
While restoring antique furniture can be time-consuming, it’ll be simpler as long as you keep track on the steps that you need to do to accomplish it. As long as you have the right tools, the task will be significantly easier and fulfilling. Check out these steps for furniture restoration that will get your old furniture in vogue.
1. Check on Safety Measures
Using chemicals on furniture restoration can be hazardous and risky to your health if precautionary measures won’t be observed. Remember, only use the right tools for the job. Avoid improvising any tool if you are not sure that it would be a possible alternative.
You should always wear protective gear like long sleeves and rubber gloves while performing an antique restoration. Aside from these, make sure that you work in a well-ventilated area – if possible, outdoors – to avoid inhaling the chemical vapours.
Store used rags somewhere not accessible by children to prevent accidents. Check if older paint finishes contain lead. If it contains lead, let a professional paint stripper do that for you.
2. Identifying the Current Finish of the Furniture
Before you can restore old furniture, you need to distinguish the current finish of the wood or the item. If it has a natural finish like shellac, you will find it hard to determine the lacquer and varnish by just looking at it. Try testing the surface using methylated spirits to see if it will come off. It this method fails, then you are probably dealing with a lacquer.
Paint or enamel finish is much easier to identify. The lack of shine can determine oil and wax to the surface.
3. Good Piece of Cleaning
At times in antique furniture restoration it can be as easy as giving a piece a good cleaning. The procedure described here can be used for cleaning of wood or wicker surfaces. If the cleaners you are using fail to bring the furniture back to its original lustre, switch to a solution composed of water and detergent. You can apply the mixture with a microfiber cloth. Rinse the area and make sure it will be dry and clean.
Resort to a solvent cleaner for restoring old furniture is neither of the methods cleans the antique to your satisfaction. The solvents may be mineral spirits or turpentine. Work with these substances outdoors or in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhalation of the vapour. Use an old towel or any rough cloth to apply it on the surface. Make sure you have a spare one to wipe it away immediately.
4. Reamalgamation of the Furniture
Most finishes develop scratches and marks that can make the surface looks dull. The best way to repair it is through the process of reamalgamation. Reamalgamation is the liquification of marred finished so it dries solid and unblemished. The process requires you to use a solvent applied directly to the wooden surface to buff out the imperfections. First, clean the surface using the above techniques. Then decide which solution to use. However, remember that varnish cannot be amalgamated. You need to apply the solvent to the finished area using a bristle brush. Work quickly so that the brush won’t get too dry. Observe that the solvent appears glossy as it dries. After it dries off completely, all the scratches will be gone. Use fine steel wool to buff the area, working on one direction along the grain of the wood. Apply hard paste wax to add extra shine to your restored antique.
5. Surface Stripping
When you are with refinishing, the initial step in antique restoration is stripping off the old finish to make room for a new stain. Use a tougher stripping formula for more layers of paint to adequately loosen the old coat for scraping purposes. Start your way from the top to bottom and apply the stripper only in one direction. Add extra paste to carved areas since it is harder to remove. This restoration technique would take some applications before the entire paint is sufficiently removed.
When you restore antique furniture, it is best to use natural bristles to avoid creating more lines and cracks on the surface. Once you have almost 95 per cent of the finish off, use a liquid stripper to get the last bit. In carvings and corners, use a brass-bristle brush to remove the remaining ones effectively. The most important thing is to make sure the surface is completely stripped off its old finish.
6. Refinishing of the Antique
The fun part of restoration is the application of the new coat of stain and finish to give your furniture a whole new look. Before you begin refinishing, make sure to make any necessary antique furniture repair, like fixing cracks and chairs. Use sandpaper to polish the surface and clean it afterwards with a vacuum and tack cloth.
Ensure that you have the necessary furniture restoration supplies to execute the task. Sanding sealers are useful in ensuring a good and shiny finish, while a bristle brush is required for staining.
Restoring antique furniture is a fulfilling process that can breath new life and look to the antique pieces in your home. This process takes time and effort to complete, but the results can be rewarding. Or better yet, hire a professional furniture restoration expert through HIREtrades to do the job for you if you expect desirable results that last.
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