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They can give you information on the cost, style, origin, and time period of your antiques.
Arts & Crafts Movement / Mission
Storage, Cleaning, Restoration & Repair
Items in Use
Keep antiques away from windows. Rotate items incrementally over time to reduce irregular sun fading. Curtains can help.
Grandfather clocks are often the most sun-damaged antique.
Cover surfaces with cloth to reduce scratches.
Items in Storage
Cover with a sheet and keep items away from the window.
Check on stored antiques at least once a year to monitor for termites and water damage.
Stored wooden furniture still needs to be waxed once a year.
Cleaning Your Antiques
Cleaning should be minimal. Cleaning too much will get rid of the patina and reduce the antique’s value.
Patina: Thin layer that variously forms on the surface of copper, brass, bronze and similar metals, or certain stones, and wooden furniture, or any similar acquired change of a surface through age and exposure.
Lightly wiping down surfaces with water, a rag, and a small amount of soap is the safest way to clean antiques. Other methods: vinegar, denatured alcohol
Dusting Your Antiques
Dust with a soft wet rag.
Wiping a surface with a dry rag will create micro-scratches.
Some antique experts prefer to dust with feathers, but this method is contentious. Critics of this method worry that quills scratch wood.
Waxing Wooden Furniture
Wood Furniture needs to be waxed 1 - 2 times per year. More than that can cause damage to your wooden furniture.
Pure beeswax is preferable. A good commercially available wax is Howard Feed-N-Wax
Brass/ Bronze/ Copper: Consider polishing, but probably leave the patina
Iron: Wash with warm water, scrub with kerosene, polish with steel wool (+rust remover), rinse thoroughly, dry with a cloth.
Steel: Prevent rust. Clean with vinegar and lime solution. Consider painting, powder coating, or re-surfacing steel that is seriously deteriorating,
Chemicals for stripping wood can be harmful and refinishing will often reduce the value of antiques. People still choose to refinish if pieces are extremely damaged or if they have a strong aesthetic preference.
Types of finishing: Wood Stain, Polyurethane, Lacquer, Shellac, Tung