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Restoration – Hints, tips, advice and tricks of the trade used in the restoration of antiques, furniture, jewellery etc.


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RESTORATION

Some more useful hints and tips
and tricks of the trade from antique
restorers.

I would stress I cannot guarantee results, any of these suggestions are
undertaken at your own risk.

If your
antique is valuable it is recommended to seek the advice of
professionals before undertaking any home remedies as these can cause
damage and may reduce the value of the item.


Disclaimer

 


Use make-up brushes to dust delicate objects.



Coin collectors never
clean coins, however, if you must, wash in warm soapy water and dry with
soft dry cloth.
 


Use a chrome cleaner to clean Bakelite objects.
 


To remove general grime from old prints, take the
dough from some fresh bread and roll gently over the surface of the print. 
The dust and grime will soak into the bread.
 


To clean velour, put a few drops of washing up liquid
into a bucket of water.  Soak a piece of muslin in the water and ring
out until almost dry.  Rub backwards and forwards over the velour.
 


To disguise cigarette burns on furniture, scrape
blackened area off with sharp knife blade.  Fill indentation  with
car filler, smooth off until level.  Take an artists brush and powder
paint of a similar colour to the wood and paint in a knot to match others in
the wood.
 



To find out if pearls are real or synthetic, rub on teeth – if they feel
gritty they are real, if smooth they are glass.
 


To find out if amber is genuine or plastic – heat a
needle in a flame and prick one of the beads.  If it smells of plastic
it is!   Amber smells pleasant.
 


To get grime off wooden furniture before polishing
use metal polish rubbed in the same direction as the wood grain. 
Finish off with wax polish.
 

To restore a French polished surface, sprinkle a few
drops of baby oil on the surface, put some methylated spirits on a soft,
clean cloth and wipe in the direction of the grain.


To remove a white ring from furniture, cover stain
with clean, soft cloth and iron over the stain using an iron set on MEDIUM –
no steam.



Brass and copper objects can be cleaned by pouring
over “brown” sauce (such as Daddys, HP or O.K.), leave overnight and then rinse
off.
 


To
remove an oil stain on wooden furniture, mix some methylated spirits and
talcum powder into a paste.  Spread about 1/8″ thick over oily patch –
leave to dry and then scrape paste off.  The oil should have gone.
 


Revitalise cast iron objects by rubbing on olive oil.
 


To remove old, rusted in screws.  Clean around
screw head edges, heat screw head with a hot air gun, then turn screw a
little TIGHTER, before undoing.
 


When buying antique furniture look inside drawers for
signs of extra holes where original handles and locks may have been
replaced.
 



Age marks on porcelain can be removed by soaking overnight in baby
bottle sterilizing liquid.
 


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


To clean gilding, take some egg whites to which a few
drops of bleach have been added.  Brush into gilding with a soft brush. 
Dry with hairdryer.  Use old toothbrush to brush off the residue.
 


Cover scratches in wooden furniture by rubbing with a
walnut kernel.
 


To remove dents in wood, dampen a piece of
flannelette sheet, place over dent.  Take a domestic iron and press
hard over damp cloth.