Furniture makes a house, a home. We all own a piece of furniture that has been a family heirloom – grandfather clocks, dressing table, sofas, dining table, or just a lounge chair – which we are unsure whether to keep or discard as it holds a special place in our hearts. However, furniture neglected for an extended period could suffer from an accumulation of dust, grime, infestation, fading, and sheen, which could cause the loss of a beautiful memory. Furniture restoration comes to aid in cleaning, repairing, restyling, and refinishing old furniture.
Things to Consider Before Restoring Old Furniture
Before resorting to stripping down the furniture piece to restore it, it is essential to inspect and examine it to understand the origin, condition, quality, and craftsmanship of the furniture. Observing carvings, marks, and areas protected from everyday wear could provide a good idea about the same. Restoration could turn into a time-consuming process, so it is crucial to consider the time that one can spare working on it. Suppose it turns out to be a rare and valuable antique piece which one needs to handle with care, one better leave it to professionals who would restore it with the diligence and efficiency to keep its value.
Getting started with the Restoration Process
Before beginning any project, we need to have a plan, an idea of what we are doing, why we are doing it, and what outcome we expect from it. The number one task would be to re-examine and note all the work and changes that one needs to do to get a clear picture of the materials required for the process. Safety is pertinent while embarking on furniture restoration as antiques pose threats with protruding splinters of wood, broken glass, or poisonous fumes. One can take simple measures to avoid harm like wearing clothing that covers the arms and legs, safety glasses, and a mask, working in a well-lit and ventilated area to give room for the fumes to escape, and protect the floors by covering them in plastic sheets.
Clean Before you Begin
Directly getting down to fixing the broken parts could not prove useful if the furniture is unclean. A thorough cleaning would be essential after years of neglect to remove the superficial dirt and stains which could give information on any damages gone unnoticed. Depending on the type of material, one can clean the furniture with a piece of cloth, a sponge, some warm water, soft soap, wool, and soft brushes. One can use paintbrushes, slender wood, or thin sharp rods to reach narrow areas and remove the grime and wax that might be stuck in nooks and crannies. It is essential to keep a light handy while doing so.
Repair and Restyle as it Suits You
The next step in furniture restoration is to repair the broken parts or replace them. Repairing involves checking the screws and tightening them if loose or carefully replacing them if rusted, filling cracks with wood fillers or wood putties and attaching broken pieces with wood glue, and inspecting their sturdiness. The homeowner can restyle the furniture to suit the décor of the house with new fabric, different colored paint, or wallpaper. Refinishing the furniture goes hand-in-hand, using a combination of sandpaper and chemical strippers, and beeswax polish to smooth out the surfaces and give it a professional look.
When the furniture is restored and placed to decorate the room, you would have the satisfaction bring the antique back to life.
Read also: Furniture to buy
© Ruchi Verma
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