Over the years, the Furniture Department of The Conservation Center has helped conserve many works of antique and fine furniture, both from museums and private clients. So this month, as the weather chills and we all get cozy in our big comfortable chairs, we wanted to highlight them, their work, and what we think are their best treatments.
Are your furniture and wooden artifacts lacking the glow that they used to have? The culprit is most likely an aged, worn, or damaged wax layer. Wax coatings are applied on top of a finished piece of wood to act as a protective coating. Without this layer, foreign particulates, such as dirt or soot, could accumulate and settle into the finish. Old finishes are delicate and desirable and repeated cleaning of original surface can damage the patina. Particles and dust will inevitably settle on the surface of a piece and then become embedded in the sacrificial wax coat. The wax coat can then be easily removed without damaging the original finish.