AW Antiques & Collectibles Restoration

Finding & Reviving Old Furniture
Antique Restoration
Antique Information
General Info

Antique Maintenance - Handy Hints

Coins should be left in original condition. Cleaning reduces the value.

Ceramics can be washed with soap and water, but only wipe gently with a damp cloth if they are repaired, damaged, or have hand-painted decorations.

Store plastic toys or other plastic items away from the heat and not resting against one another.

Do not use plastic bubble wrap to store silver and ceramics,. Heat and humidity can cause permanent discolourations.

Moving lamps and ornaments on wooden tabletops from time to time, reduces the possibility of leaving a dark mark underneath.

Stains and old marks can be cleaned off china by leaving in a solution of baby sterliser for a few hours.

To remove stale smells from an old chest of drawers, or cupboard use bicarbonate of soda, or fresh lavender to absorb the odour.

If displaying watercolour paintings, remember that sunlight will fade them. Keep on a wall away from direct daylight.

To clean antique ivory, dust with a soft brush.

Do not polish antique bronze or you will destroy the old patina and reduce the value. Dust with a clean cloth.

When storing old toys remember to remove the batteries first.

When repairing dolls remember that changing the original hair in any way will lower its value.

When resetting antique clocks, hold the minute hand in the centre not the tip, turn it clock-wise, wait for each strike to sound before moving again to the next position. If it has a pendulum place the clock on a level surface and ensure the tick is even.

Never place longcase clocks near heat. Be sure to attach them to the wall for safety. Most grandfather clocks have a small hole in the backboard to attach a screw or piece of wire.

Polish carved furniture using wax polish applied with a stencilling brush. Using a shoe brush to polish off.

To disguise cigarette burns; scrape blackened area away with a sharp knife blade. Fill dent with plastic wood filler, smooth off until level. With an artist paint brush and using artist's oil paint, match the colour of the wood or knot or maybe even a blemish, to disguise it.

Amber is it genuine or plastic? One way of telling, is to heat a needle and prick part of it. Amber should have a slight pine resin smell. Anything else and it probably isn't. Unfortunately this is not a foolproof method as it is possible to buy amber which is not very old. The only way is to take it to a reputable jeweller.

A way of telling whether pearls are real is to rub one on your teeth if they feel smooth; chances are they will be synthetic. Real pearls feel rough.

To check if jet is real, rub it against the bottom of an unglazed piece of pottery. If it leaves a brown mark it is probably genuine.

To cover that scratch on a piece of polished furniture. Break a brazil nut kernel in half and rub the broken end over the scratch and the oil will disguise it.

To clean brass pour some tomato ketchup or brown sauce over the item and leave over night. Wash off and buff it with a clean cloth.

Cast iron pieces can be revitalised by rubbing olive oil over them.

Tortoiseshell objects can be greatly improved by rubbing in a small amount of olive oil. Watch those colours appear!

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