| Sheila Howell
Air conditioning, sunlight, heat and humidity can be very good - or very bad - for antique wood furniture. Antique wood furniture is porous and can be sensitive to extremes in temperature, and to changes in temperature. Wood reacts to changes in the temperature and humidity, light and can easily dry out in the summer:
- A small crack that gives a piece character can dry out and grow into a large gash under the daily glare of a hot summer sun.
- Heavy sunlight can discolor, fade or ruin the finish on old wood.
- Humidity can cause wood to swell up and crack, and ruin antique finishes, glues and joints.
- Air conditioning dries out the air in your home, which can also cause antique wood furniture to crack and warp.
Make sure your antique wooden furniture is clean before you treat it. Eli Rios, the owner of ECR Antique Conservation and Restoration in New York City, recommends:
How to Care for Antique Wood Furniture During the Summer
- Air conditioning can dry out the air in your home, so a humidifier may be needed. Experts say 50 - 55% humidity is ideal for antiques.
- If your air is too damp, a dehumidifier can control protect antiques from too much humidity.
- Protect your antique furniture from direct sunlight. Use blinds on windows to filter the sunlight, or move your furniture away from the windows during the summer months.
- Use a beeswax-based clear paste wax and with the grain once a year, not in a circular motion, using a very soft cloth such as a t-shirt or baby diaper.
- Be careful what you place on top of antique wood furniture: plastic and other materials can react to the heat and mar the finish of your piece.
If your antique wood furniture does become damaged, consult an antiques expert for restoration and repair. If your piece is valuable or sentimental, amateur repairs can hurt the value of your piece, or destroy its appearance.
Our new shipment of European antiques is arriving soon!
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European Finds has beautiful antique furniture styles from France, Italy, England, Belgium and Holland - our selection includes gorgeous European antiques from every corner of the Continent. Some are extremely rare, others less so, but all are historic, authentic survivors from a bygone era, and will make lovely additions to your home or office.
Note: Our inventory is always changing, so be sure to check back frequently for our latest additions!