No one intentionally wants to ruin an antique, but it does happen that people make mistakes when caring for antique dining tables, chairs and other quality antique furniture. Improper storage or cleaning are just some of the ways you can ruin antiques.
Take a look below at the ways antiques can be ruined.
Displaying in sunlight
Old paper, photographs, and vintage textiles are susceptible to damage from direct sunlight, and it is also the case for wooden antiques, particularly if they are made from a dark coloured wood. Be careful to display your antiques and collectables in dimly lit rooms, and only for short periods in sunny rooms. Always avoid direct sunlight.
While you may think cleaning antiques increases their value, this is not always the case. Cleaning the patina from bronze or other metal antiques often decreases the antique item’s value considerably. Be careful when cleaning glass antiques, as they can become ‘sick’ – the collector's term for a cloudy surface. Do a bit of research before cleaning your antique furniture and collectables. More often than not, a dusting with a lint-free cloth will do the trick.
Getting the lighting, temperature and humidity levels right in your home creates the perfect environment for antiques. Though it is not always possible, keep in mind how to properly store antiques to help preserve them. Keep them away from damp areas like a cellar or garage, and hot areas like an attic or loft.
You may think restoring antiques to their original state is a good idea, but if the restoration is botched, the value of the antique decreases. Seek expert advice before you restore the upholstery or leather top of a desk, and if you want the best restoration job for your antique bookcase or Chippendale antique chairs, go to a professional to do it for you.
The ‘less is more rule’ applies when it comes to refinishing antique furniture. Removing the original finish on a furniture masterpiece or rare antique can have a drastic effect on its value. Gentle cleaning will serve, and be careful to remove dust and dirt, but not anything like the patina. However, a more common antique can be refinished, but research the piece or check with an expert before doing so.