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The older a piece the more apt a restoration is, although therein lies the double edged blade. The older a piece becomes the more complex a restoration project...
The difference between a patina and a project.
Some pieces weather well with time, Considering whether they've had favorable conditions to weather. Moisture, Humidity, U.V. Light and temperature swings can wreak havoc on your favorite woodwork. Any ''soft spots" or moisture in the wood will generally warrant a full restoration to prevent further damage. Though that memorable lite crazing or alligatoring, really "tells the story" it is what keeps some from going for a refurb because It's very difficult to replicate, yet not impossible.
Different materials can withstand the test of time better than others. Solid wood usually holds up to aging better than veneers or laminates. Also the techniques and the finish coatings applied all play an important role in whether a complete or partial restoration is warranted.
luckily oils, varnish, lacquer or natural shellac were the go to finish coating for most older furniture. These finish coatings are generally easier to replicate but are often in need of repair. They have to be kept up with routine topcoats and waxings. Try to never use pledge or the likes on antiques because their residue is very difficult to remove.
A technique called the french polish is a more intricate application involving several steps, leaving the piece with a lustrous shine that really accentuates the grain of the wood. This process was very prone to damage, coming in as the most needed, costliest, as well as most difficult to replicate.
Modern finishes are way more durable than these previous counterparts. Yet few of them applied per the directions will leave your restoration with that old-world wooden charm. Understanding the techniques used when these antiques were built is the key to keeping restoring them to their true original beauty.
Thanks for reading
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