Planning on buying Australian colonial furniture and want to know how to maintain it? Would you like to know how to restore a piece of colonial furniture from Australia? Read our informative and factual guide...
If you own a piece if antique colonial furniture, you probably know how difficult it can be to clean, maintain and refinish these pieces. Also because colonial furniture can be quite expensive, a small mistake can ruin its value aesthetically and financially so you need to be very careful when cleaning these furniture pieces.
When cleaning antique furniture, you need to be extra careful to not damage the veneer, stain or paint used on the furniture. Unfortunately using harsh chemicals to clean the grime on colonial furniture can prove detrimental. This grime gets accumulated due to the skin oil that we leave behind on everything that we touch; in time this oil combines with dust and dirt from the environment to form a layer of grime on the surface of the furniture.
If the piece of furniture has any gilded areas, you need to be particularly careful to not ruin them; these areas are delicate and can get damaged easily. Only use a very soft dry cloth or a brush to dust these parts.
If you intend to use a cleaning solution, it is imperative to test it on a hidden oat so that you can be sure that there are no unfavorable reactions. It is normal for the wooden or veneer surface to have a fine layer of water soluble dirt, simply use a mild soapy solution to get this off. It is best to use a very mild liquid dish washing soap on the surface because a detergent will inevitably damage the piece.
You should also be careful to not use the soapy solution on parts where the veneer has cracked, gently wipe the area that you want to clean with a soft cloth soaked in the liquid. If you feel that the soap solution is unable to clean the dirt, you can then choose a stronger chemical preparation. Ideally, you should go for phosphate free TSP solution; this is readily available at most hardware stores.
If you find the area that you are trying to clean particularly sticky, it may be an indication of lacquer damage. If you try to clean such a surface hard it will worsen the problem and may even damage the paint or stained wood. So, do not use a water based solution to deal with this problem because this solution may cause the wood to swell; instead use a solvent based cleaner.
A very popular product is Naptha and it is readily available at many hardware stores. However, the solution has a very strong odor, so make sure that you use gloves when cleaning the furniture with this solution and take the furniture out in open space to clean it. Whatever solution you use, ensure that you use a soft cloth; metal scrub will remove the finish.