Furniture made during the Georgian and Victorian periods was built to last! Joints were constructed and glued – not stapled or nailed together like modern pieces. Timber was properly seasoned, so is less likely to warp; and the finish applied, designed to resist marks, hardens over time. With a little care and thought, caring for your antique furniture is easy!
1. Keep out of direct sunlight
Where possible, position furniture away from direct sunlight, which can not only fade furniture but may also cause a polished surface to blister within a short space of time.
2. Watch out for radiators
Similarly, radiators can be a problem if furniture is placed directly in front of one – allow as much space as possible.
3. Keep a check on humidity levels
Low humidity can have a damaging effect on antique furniture – it was not constructed with today’s centrally or underfloor heated homes in mind! Wood is a flexible medium, and if allowed to dry out too much, may shrink and crack. Fortunately, ambient humidity is very easy to check with a small, cheap electronic gadget called a ‘hygrometer’. Humidity of round about 45% is ideal, with a minimum of 35%; the easiest way to achieve this without trouble is to place a couple of bowls of water about under pieces of furniture.
4. Wax every 3 – 4 months
Most pieces will only need waxing every 3 to 4 months at most, depending on how much wear the piece gets. Waxing too often will give a sticky finish which attracts dirt! Apply a thin layer of any good quality bees-wax based polish with a cloth, then buff up really hard with a soft cloth or brush; this will help to maintain a lovely patina.
5. Buff up that brasswork!
Nothing gives your antiques a lift more then shining up the handles. This job is very straightforward; we recommend using a small amount of good old Brasso. Don’t panic if some gets on the wood – just wipe off quickly with a cloth!