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How to Repair Antique Furniture
Home Sports & Recreations Hobbies
By: Gord And Gertie Guide Email Article
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Many of the old antiques pieces we have today are rare finds that have been lovingly handed down. They add a gentle beauty to any decor in their simplicity and bring a coziness of the past to our homes of today. Unfortunately, most antique pieces show their age and with time, many may need to be repaired. If you are handy, quite often you can do some of the simple repair work on your own. With a few tools basic tools, and little bit of instruction, you can tackle minor repairs easily and quite inexpensively.

First you need to identify where the problem areas are. Many items may only have minor cosmetic damage that is relatively easy to remove. You may find that you like the look of time that has left its mark on your piece or you may choose to take it to a professional for a complete overhaul. The choice is yours and depends on the value of the piece and your connection with it. It may be worthwhile to have it seen by a professional if it is of considerable value.

Minor Repairs

With many antiques, you will find them comprised completely of wood although some may have had veneers added. You will need to determine what type of piece you have before you can begin.

Moisture rings are very common, and you need to know how to remove these without causing any damage the surface of the wood. These rings tend to be white and can be removed fairly well with a chemical called amalgamator. You can purchase this at any home improvement center. Dampen a soft cloth with the solution and apply it sparingly without rubbing. Dab the surface pressing gently so that the solution can penetrate into the stain. If the treatment does not seem to be working, repeat the process waiting a few minutes in between applications.

If the stain is persistent you can gently sand the surface. Start with the softest steel wool available then switch to 600-grit sandpaper if you require more effort to remove the stain. You can dampen the sandpaper in a little soapy water which will act as a lubricant but remember to be gentle.

It is usually easy to fix minor scratches and shallow nicks on wooden surfaces. You can use gel stains, liquid stains and pencil stains all depending on the nature if the repair. Choose the colour closest to the original stain and mix several if need be until you get the one that matches the best. Its also very important to use clean, lint free cloths for all steps.

  • First, clean the wooden surface carefully to remove any dust or dirt.
  • Apply the stain using a soft cloth making sure to cover the entire scratched surface.
  • Applying the stain and immediately wipe off the excess using a clean cloth.
  • Allow the surface to dry for 24 hours.
  • Finally, apply a new finish to match the rest of the piece.
For more difficult stains and burns, you may need to consider refinishing. Always keep in mind that with any major refinishing work, the original value of the piece may be affected. Talk to a professional to help you decide if your piece is worth the expense and potential loss in value.

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Got a burning question about how to repair antique furniture? Grandpa Gord and Grandma Gertie put a sensible spin on expert advice, with a little humor thrown into the mix. We cover topics ranging from pets to parenting, careers to hobbies, relationships to lifestyle, finances to food, and everything in between. Visit us at for some simple and straight from the hip advice from people who’ve been around the block a few times.

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