I'm often asked how to look after antique treen wooden items, to protect the lovely natural shine and colour of the surfaces built up over several hundred years. So here are my 10 top tips;
1. To protect the surface of your lovely antique use a beeswax 1-2 times a year. This should be left on overnight to really nourish the wood, before cleaning off with a lint free cloth. The aim is to gradually build up a protective layer which will enhance your antiques.
2. Do not use spray polishes, which in time can damage surfaces.
3. Try not to wax polish anymore frequently than twice a year as too much leads to a build up of wax and makes the surface dull.
4. An exception to the rule, as there is always an exception, is when a piece is really dry and the wax just soaks in straight away. In this case a couple of wax applications maybe needed ie wax leave overnight, polish and then repeat. In the first year wax 3-4 times.
5. Polish in the direction of the grain.
6. Never strip back the surface of your antique treen items. Ink marks etc are part of its history. The original glowing surface of your antique which has taken hundreds of years to develop can be destroyed in seconds by stripping back surfaces to get rid of stains. The result will be a dull, lifeless piece where the history has been destroyed.
6. Do not place any antique treen or furniture in direct sunlight, this will fade the wood- particularly bad news is when something is partially covering a surface and the sun fades part of the surface.
7. Do not place antique wooden items too close to radiators as this can lead to wood drying out and cracking and veneers lifting. A good tip is to have a vase of flowers nearby to help the moisture content in the room.
8. Try to prevent fluctuations in temperatures.
9. If water is split, or rain lands on the surface of any antique treen or furniture wipe off immediately with a dry cloth, otherwise unsightly water marks will be visible.
10. Enjoy your antique treen, dont be afraid to handle it. Wood gets better with handling.......gently of course as its a few hundred years old!!!