At this time of year, antique desks and Victorian dining chairs in Lancashire are being polished up for the new year. Unfortunately, this can end up doing more harm than good.
In Preston, the Victorian dining chairs in antique shops always look beautiful. Sadly, those in people’s homes rarely look as good, mainly because of modern cleaning and polishing methods. Silicon polish belongs on silicon furniture, not on fine old mahogany which has developed a natural patina through years of use. Restoring Victorian dining chairs means a bit of hard work and elbow grease, not a quick spray with an anti-static polish.
When restoring antique furniture, the point is to preserve the natural aged look it has developed over the years, while removing the grime obscuring its beauty. This means preserving the patina – the natural film that develops through years of wax polishing and use. It cannot be faked or applied, and should never be removed.
The patina identifies the age of the wood and gives it that unique, antique appearance. Unfortunately, modern polishes are very abrasive and will easily break through the patina, ruining the look and value of your Victorian dining chairs.
In Lancashire, there is a tried and trusted method of restoring antique desks and other furniture – soap and water! However, modern detergents must be avoided. One traditional product widely in use is Murphy’s Oil Soap, which is used on everything from saddlery to antique desks. Most Lancashire antique dealers, however, would suggest a specialist antique product such as Liberon Wax and Polish Remover, which is specially formulated to remove old wax and dirt from antiques without affecting the patina.
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