Freshen up Antique Furniture in 3 Easy Steps - No Re-staining Required! July 30, 2016 17:43
The antique entry table in my living room has great character and detail. I appreciate all of the craftsmanship that went into creating this beauty many, many years ago. Overall, this piece is still in incredibly great shape and I chose not to repaint it. I really love the deep color of the original wood and thought it was a great contrast to some of the lighter decor in the room. Lately though, no matter how much I dust it (& since I live in Arizona, I have to dust quite often), it has begun to look quite dull.
I really did not want to spend the time and effort to sand and re-stain it. But my entry table was looking like an entirely different shade of brown and I knew it needed some help. While I was dusting and contemplating on what I should do, I could hear my mother's voice in my head saying, "Old English Mija" (Mija is Spanish slang for "daughter").
My mom is a big advocate of Old English and I must say she can back up her recommendation with experience. She has had her own professional cleaning business for over 30 years and primarily deals with homes sprawling with vintage and antique furniture. She swears by Old English to spruce up not just antique but most wood furniture. So I decided in that moment, I would take my mother's advice and give it a try. I found two bottles under my sink and decided to use the one labeled "for dark woods."
Side Note: For those of you that are not familiar with Old English; it comes in both an aerosol and oil. I used the oil. The label states that it is a scratch cover and helps to restore damaged wood. (Also, we are not affiliated with or being compensated in anyway by Old English)
Step #1: I gave the table a quick overall dusting.
Step #2: Using a microfiber rag, I poured about 5 drops of Old English oil on the rag (a little goes a long way) and began to wipe the table going in the same direction of the wood grain. I would recommend wearing plastic gloves because, as is with any oil, it can easily get on your hands (although if it does, it is an easy cleanup). Immediately upon applying the oil to the table, I began to see a major difference:
Since this is a darker oil, it stained my yellow microfiber rag but it was a small price to pay for the great results. I continued putting oil on my rag as needed and wiped it on the entire table; legs, base, etc.
Here's a picture of the table leg before the oil was applied:
Here's a picture of the table leg after the oil was applied:
Within about 20 minutes of application, my table looked like it had new life and was back to its beautiful dark wood color!
Step #3: Once I applied the oil to the entire table, I took a dry microfiber towel and wiped it down again, this time without any oil. This step is just to ensure the oil is spread evenly and no residue is left.
In less than half an hour, my table was done and there was no labor intensive sanding or re-staining required!
"Mother knows best" - definitely true in the case of Old English, and with many, many other things, my mom knows exactly what she's talking about. For a quick wooden antique furniture refresher, I would highly suggest applying Old English oil (now I sound like my mom!). It has definitely helped to bring back the shine and color to this thrifted, antique goody.
Next time you come across a thrift store wooden piece of furniture that looks dull and needs attention, you might want to think twice about passing it up! It may just need half an hour of your time, some Old English oil and 3 quick, easy steps to get it back to its original luster!
- Christina, Purpose Thrift Boutique
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