Unfortunately, most antique pieces show their age and with time, many need to be repaired. If you are handy, quite often you can do some simple repairs on your own. With a few tools, basic tools and a little instruction, you can deal with minor repairs easily and quite cheaply.
First you must identify where the problem areas. Many objects may only have minor cosmetic damage, which is relatively easy to remove. You may find that you like the look of time has left its mark on your piece or you can choose to take it to a professional for a complete overhaul. The choice is yours and depends on the value of the piece and your connection with it. It may be worth getting it seen by a professional, if it is of great value.
With many antiques, you will find them wholly of wood, although some may have had veneers added. You will need to determine what type of piece that you have before you begin.
Moisten the rings are very common, and you need to know how to remove them without causing any damage to the surface of the wood. These rings tend to be white and can be removed quite well with a chemical called amalgamator. You can buy at any home improvement center. Dampen a soft cloth with the solution and apply it sparingly without rubbing. Blot the surface press gently so that the solution can penetrate the stain. If the treatment does not seem to work, you must repeat the process to wait a few minutes in between applications.
If the stain is persistent, gently sanding the surface. Start with the softest wool available, switching to 600-grit sandpaper if you need a larger effort to remove the stain. You can dim a little sandpaper in soapy water, which will act as a lubricant, but remember to be gentle.
It is usually easy to fix small scratches and shallow notches on wood surfaces. You can use gel stains, liquid stains and pencil stains depending on the species, if the repair. Choose the color closest to the original stain and mix more if necessary until you get one that matches the best. Its also very important to use clean, lint-free cloths for all steps.
Only clean wood surface thoroughly to remove dust or dirt.
Apply stain with a soft cloth and make sure to cover all scratched the surface.
Use the stain and wipe the excess with a clean cloth.
Let the surface dry for 24 hours.
Finally, apply a new finish to match the rest of the piece.
For more stubborn stains and burns, you might consider painting. Always remember that with any major painting work, the original value of the piece will be affected. Talk to a professional to help you decide if your piece is worth the expense and potential loss in value.
If you’ve decided to tackle the painting yourself, you have to deprive finished using a lacquer thinner and stripper that are appropriate for the wood you’re working with. It can be applied with a brush, either bristle or foam or using clean lint-free clothes. Be sure that you use the recommended solutions to the piece you are working on, and follow the instructions carefully to each product at each stage.
After the piece has been removed, try a wood bleach to remove any stains.
Again, you can remove more stubborn stains using steel wool and sandpaper, gradually increase the rawness that your progress for the best results.
The next step is to apply the stain with a brush or a soft cloth.
After the recommended drying time is finish.
If your piece is damaged or missing a piece, it may be necessary to make a part. Try to match the wood as well as you can, and if you can not find a suitable match, so you may need to consult a professional for replacement.
Of course all these repairs must be made with your safety in mind, with plenty of ventilation, safety glasses and gloves. Always dispose of used cloths safely and away from any heat source. Common sense goes a long way, do not skip any steps when it comes to your safety.
Overall, many antique furniture repairs done on your own. The worn wood cuts and scares often add charm and history of your pieces. With a little TLC and gentle old-fashioned maintenance can keep your antiques in good shape in the coming years.