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Antiques Restoration and Care

Antiques restoration is a term used in two ways. One is for restoring a work of art into a like-new condition, and the other is for preserving them against further deterioration, which is also called conservation. This discipline requires a number of materials and tools depending on the type of item you are looking to restore, so careful shopping and stocking is necessary so you have all you need when you want to bring back the lustre in that thrift shop find you just scored.

What materials do I need to restore antique upholstery?

People oftentimes think that a piece of antique sofa just needs a new skin, but the truth is that beneath the upholstery are worn springs, broken fasteners and cracked portions of frame. When reupholstering antique furniture, consider how often the piece has been previously reupholstered. Tacks are small nails with tips the shape of splitting wedges for splitting wood. Chances are that, when using tacks, the frame has been damaged by reapplication of tacks that it needs to be repaired before reupholstery can be done. Aside from tacks, you might need wood glue and numerous clamps of different sizes and shapes to hold any joint in the frame.

How do I restore metal antiques?

Removing rust with a rust cleaner is the first step to restoring an antique metal object. Corrosion eats away at the metal, and if left unchecked, you will have to patch it up, thereby detracting from the personality and history of your metal antique. Smaller items such as rusted old tools or cast iron pots can benefit from a vinegar bath in a deep tub. The white vinegar reacts with the rust to dissolve it off the metal surface. You can sandblasted larger metal antiques to clear away old paint and rust, and then a new layer of primer and paint will make it good as new.

What is best used for wood antiques?

Wooden finishes that have been badly damaged by water will leave indelible marks on surfaces like tabletops. Unfortunately, in many cases, a refinish is your best bet at restoring the table to its former glory. Scrape away the old finish with a box cutter blade or similar tool and sand the surfaces with an orbital sander. Once you are confident that the surface is clean, apply multiple coats of your chosen wood finish using a foam brush for an even application.

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