Tips on How to Care for Antique Furniture

(Last Updated On: August 1, 2019)

Furniture experts will tell you about the value and beauty of antique furniture, some for the relatively cheap cost in acquiring them and others for the way they seem to fit in our modern homes. Furniture technicians say Antique furniture means different things to different people. You could have spotted it in an off-beat shop and purchased it. Antique furniture experts say antique furniture should be cared for and handled with care as you would care for a 100 year old grandmother; delicate is the word.  Over the years, antique furniture restoration and furniture repairs have become an exigency and the ways of cleaning and caring for antique furniture has changed significantly.

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When doing Furniture touch-ups, Antique furniture needs special care when compared to other furniture. You can no longer just do a casual wipe and expect to get the natural shine and beauty it radiates. The finish on a piece of antique affects its value.

Here are a few ways to maintain your antique furniture.

If you have doubts about how to clean and maintain your antique furniture, it is better to call on a furniture expert to help you in deciding what to do per time. This will prevent you from doing the wrong thing to your piece of furniture.

Furniture from way back (the 18th century) used to have bright red or blue paint on them to match the decorations at the time. Trying to carry out furniture touch-ups and resulting to repaint such furniture may have a disastrous effect.

1. Keep furniture out of the sun

If you want your furniture to last longer and serve you better, then you must, by all means, and at all cost, keep it out of the ultraviolet ray of the sun. It is damaging to all antique furniture. The color will turn yellow, and it will lose its lovely clear finish. The sun rays can make the wood to dry out causing it to crack and age.

2. Keep furniture away from Heaters or Air-Cons

It is necessary to keep all furniture especially your antique furniture away from air-con and heating devices such as ovens, furnaces etcetera. Furniture experts say when you don’t do this. When you place your antique furniture to close to these air cons and heaters, the glue holding the furniture together will loosen. A humidifier is, however, good for the furniture as it keeps the room temperature even.

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3. Watch out for Insects

Furniture technicians would affirm that one of the challenges facing antique furniture is insects. They may have accumulated dirt and insects over the long period they have been out of use. These kinds of furniture make an ideal home for pests and other insects, beetles, termites and the likes of them. If there are in a piece of furniture, they always leave behind a trail of sawdust known as grass. They also perforate the furniture to make a way of entry and exit for themselves. The quicker you find out, the easier it would be for a furniture expert to exterminate them without causing damage to the furniture.

Cockroaches in particular damage the finish of the furniture. Obviously, you need to eradicate these animals as quickly as possible before any great damage has taken place.

4. Avoid using oil on the furniture

Using oil on antique furniture will over time turn it black. Making it lose its shine and beauty.

5. Dusting your antique furniture

You don’t just clean off dust anyhow. There is a way it’s done. You dust antique furniture with a soft cloth. Using a dry rag tends to scratch the wood; you can wet the cloth a little before cleaning as the dirt will easily come off.


All antique furniture has its own particular finished look. The final finished look of a piece of furniture is as important as the overall value of the piece. When you strip and refinish furniture, you destroy the patina – which is described as an old, valuable surface of furniture or the bronze handles of an antique chest of drawers, or such like. Stripping a piece of furniture means you can never recover that original look. So, do not ever do that, unless you are an expert in antique furniture restoration who knows exactly how to put it together again.

The marks and patterns you get on an antique piece of furniture are part of the history of that piece and indicate its previous loving care. And, there is no way that those patterns of wear and tear can ever be replaced.

A general rule of thumb for looking after antique furniture is to “leave it alone” – antique furniture collectors prefer to have the piece of furniture n its original condition showing the marks and ravages of time and wear or tear – that is part of its charm. However, furniture repairs are often times unavoidable and the need of furniture experts and furniture technicians skilled in furniture touchups and furniture restoration cannot be overstated.

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