Thursday, December 1, 2011

A few tip for antique collectors

  • Antique furniture should never be "polished" or cleaned with commercial cleaning products or polishes. Instead, use a soft cloth sprayed with some glass cleaner.
  • To remove stains from stoneware dishes, soak them for 24 hours or more in one gallon of hot water in which two denture cleaner tablets have been dissolved.
  • Never use furniture oil such as lemon oil on antique furniture. Just wipe it with a damp cloth or use only clear paste wax (Minwax or beeswax) to keep the wood in good condition.

    •  To prevent mildew damage to old photographs and art work hung on damp or outside walls, tape or glue a sheet of plastic to the back to create a vapor barrier.
    • Use only white glue to adhere broken pieces of porcelain, stoneware, or pottery together. After applying glue, press pieces together and shift slightly for a tight fit. Wipe off excess glue from both sides with a damp cloth and let dry. Use masking tape to hold pieces snuggly while drying if necessary.
    • To remove minor water marks on furniture, use a mixture of Vaseline and ashes. Sift 2 tablespoons of fine wood ashes with a dab of Vaseline or cooking oil to form a paste. Using a circular motion, work the paste into the surface with a soft cloth until the white ring vanishes.
    • Never use rust-remover on china as it can remove the glaze or protective coating of the china. Also, calcium, lime or rust-remover products should not be used on gold or platinum-banded crystal because these items can stain or permanently change the color of the metal-banding.
    • Wear cotton gloves as much as possible when handling your silver. This will prevent the oils and acids from your hands from ending up on the object. Cotton gloves are very inexpensive, and can be purchased at photography supply stores and some drug stores.
    • Burn marks can be taken out of furniture with fine steel wool, a razor blade, a scalpel or craft knife. The shallow hole that results may be filled by artists' oil colors, mixed with linseed oil, or if a glossy finish is desired, with varnish, or mixed with turpentine, it will be matt. A filler can also be made from colored beeswax, from powder stain mixed with a medium such as epoxy resin, or shellac mixed with powder pigment.
    • Jade, ivory, horn, and marble should be lightly dusted with a soft brush or dry, soft cloth. Keep these objects out of direct sunlight, since they may dry out and become brittle. Always handle these objects with care when moving them. 
    • Don't put delicate crystal in the dishwasher as it can become "cloudy" from the heat, detergent and vibration-wear of the machine. Crystal also chips easily. Modern china can sometimes be put in the dishwasher, but make sure that the words "dishwasher safe" appear on the back of the china before placing it in the machine.

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