Send me an E-mail
(Please, no questions
 about value.)

Instructions for sending photographs of your pieces with your question.

What was Annie Oakleyís real name?

Mary Smithson
Katherine Somers
Phoebe Ann Moses
                     To see the answer

The Old West
by Jim & Nancy Schaut

This book describes and prices Western collectibles including art, cowboy gear, homestead items, military, mining, rodeo memorabilia, and Native American handcrafts. Itís the ultimate handbook for collectors of western memorabilia.
More Books


The American West

The American West tells the story of the aftermath of the Civil War and how the United States transformed into the "land of opportunity." The series tells the stories of the Old Westís greatest namesóJesse James, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Colonel Custer, and others.

Have Bob speak
 on antiques to your group or organization.

More Information

Can't find what
 you're looking for?

Go to my Sitemap

Share pages of this ezine with your friends using the buttons provided with each article.

Find out what's coming in the
2019 Spring  Edition

of the

"Down to the
Sea in Ships"



Download our
Decorative Periods and Styles Chart

Have a comment about

The Antiques Almanac

Fill in our form.

How to Recognize and Refinish Antiques
for Pleasure and Profit

by Bob Brooke

If you like to shop garage sales and flea markets, buying less-than-perfect antiques, this book is for you. You wonít find how to repair elaborate marquetry or gilding in this book. Instead, youíll find practical tips and step-by-step instructions to help you maintain and restore antiques you find at garage sales and flea markets. Whether itís a chair that needs a new seat or an old trunk that needs major restoration, youíll find just what you need in this book, plus information to help you identify different antique styles. And should you decide to sell your restored pieces, youíll find out how to do that in the back of the book.


BUY IT NOW, direct from Bob, for $20, including shipping or buy it at your favorite bookseller or at Amazon.com.



The key to maintaining antique furniture is keeping it clean. The following tips will help you do just that without damaging it:

1. Avoid using any of the popular spray dusting helpers. These tend to leave a nasty buildup on furniture thatís hard to remove later on. Instead, use a soft cloth to gently wipe away the dust. You can also slightly dampen the cloth with liquid glass cleaner.

2. Avoid using any of the popular oil-based liquid furniture polishers. These leave an oily residue that attracts dust. Lemon oil is one of the worst because it doesnít sink into the wood like commonly thought but lays on the surface acting as a dust magnet.

3. If thereís oily dirt or grease, such as may get on pieces in a kitchen, remove it with a mild dish detergent and water solution. Work on small areas at a time and dry immediately with a soft cloth.

4. Be extra careful when cleaning any wood that has been gilded. The gilt is usually applied with a water-soluble adhesive which can be removed by detergent cleaners.

5. To clean uneven or carved surfaces, use a soft-bristled brush or your vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment. Be careful not to hit the furniture in any way with the vacuum cleaner, itself.

6. Do not use feather dusters. They move the dust around and can scratch the surface.

7. Before using any cleaner on the surface of your furniture, test an inconspicuous area towards the back first.

8. Always avoid using too much liquid directly on your furnitureís surface.

9. You can get long-term protection by using a good paste wax, such as Minwax. This is a petroleum-based product that comes in both natural and dark shades for light and dark-stained furniture, respectively. The hard surface it produces can be dusted more easily and without the danger of scratching because its smoother. Waxing once or twice a year is sufficient for table tops and chair arms. For less used areas of furniture, such as chair legs and case pieces, wax only every four years.

10. Try not to polish hardware while itís attached to the furniture. The polish will damage the furnitureís finish. Instead, remove the hardware and polish separately, being sure to rinse or wipe it thoroughly before reattaching it to your pieces. If you canít remove the hardware from your piece, be sure to mask it from the furnitureís surface to prevent damage. For ornate hardware, use a cotton swab dipped in the detergent solution.

11. Do not polish ormolu, which really isnít brass but bronze. Instead, wash it with a soft cloth soaked with a mild dish detergent.

12.  To remove the musty odor from an antique cabinet or drawers of a chest, spray with Fabreeze and let dry. To keep it fresh, place a new drier sheet inside each cabinet or drawer.

13. If mold or mildew forms on a piece of antique furniture, dampen a soft cloth with a very mild bleach solution (two tablespoons of bleach to a quart of water) and wipe the affected area. Dry immediately with a soft cloth, then wax as stated above.

14. Heat dries out the wood of antique furniture, loosening joints. Keep your house at a comfortable level but not excessively hot in the winter. If you must keep the temperature up, put pans of water around to humidify the air or use a humidifier. The air will be healthier for you, too.

< Back to Antiques Book Shop                                         Next Review >

Antiques Q&A

Antiques and More on Google+

The Antiques Almanac on Facebook

No antiques or collectibles
are sold on this site.

How to Recognize and Refinish Antiques for Pleasure and Profit

Book: How to Recognizing and Refinishing Antiques for Pleasure and Profit
Have you ever bought an antique or collectible that was less than perfect and needed some TLC? Bob's new book offers tips and step-by- step instructions for simple maintenance and restoration of common antiques.

Read an Excerpt

Provided by: News-Antique.com