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A common question asked of us is, “what should I do to keep my antique furniture looking its best?” Well, despite the many myths about its fragility, antiques are surprisingly easy to care for. Unlike the majority of furniture produced today, high quality antiques (even medium quality antiques), are incredibly robust and were built to last…which is why they’re still here today.

Of course, like anything of value, antiques still need a little love and care from time to time. Just follow these simple rules of thumb and you can rest assured your beloved pieces will last a lifetime (or three).

Antique care: do’s and don’ts

Do’s
● Dust your antique furniture with a soft dry cloth
● Take care of any spills as soon as possible – use a damp cloth to wipe up the spill and dry immediately. Like with any other piece of furniture, use a coaster. Remember: polish is water-resistant, not waterproof.
● Rub your surfaces down once or twice a year with Pledge or a solid wax – opt for a bees wax-based brand
● If a small piece of veneer comes off, don’t panic. Use furniture glue and masking tape to repair the broken section. If in doubt, ask an expert.
● When storing antique furniture, wrap it in a sheet, preferably a natural fibre like cotton so the timber can breathe.

Don’ts
● Never attempt to restore a piece yourself – always consult an antique restoration expert. Most pieces require restoration once every 20, 40, 60 or 80 years
● Avoid using Brasso to clean ormolu – you will remove the gold leaf
● Don’t use Jif or other chemicals
● In Queensland, avoid placing chairs or sofas with silk fabrics in areas of the home where they will experience long periods of direct sunlight as this will cause the fabric to fade and rot over time.

Remember, antique furniture has stood the test of time for a reason. And while it makes sense to look after your new investment, the idea that all antiques must be handled with kid gloves is a myth. There’s no need to treat them like museum pieces that can be looked at but never touched. Antiques are there to be enjoyed, used and appreciated – both by you and by generations to come!

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