One of the first questions new antique furniture owners ask is "how do I look after antique furniture?".
Naturally, you wish to make sure that your pride of joy is kept in pristine condition, antique furniture can last for many years if looked after properly. This short guide on antique care will help you preserve and care for your antique investment.

Mositure and Heat
Because antique furniture is made from naturally dried wood as oppose to modern furniture which most likely to be kiln dried, the moisture retention of antique furniture is likely to be greater. This is good news because as long you don't place your antiques near direct heat sources then everything should be fine, just be aware of humidity as wood is a natural resource, which can be affected by extreme levels of humidity. Make sure the room your antqiue furniture is placed is between 45%-75% humid. To check the humidity, use a good hygrometer which is used to measure humidity.
Failure to keep wood at the correct humidity will cause antique furntiure to crack, bubble, expand and/or contract.

Cleaning
Use a soft, damp cloth to clean the wood if the furniture is soiled. Some experts recommend using diluted vinegar in water solution for tough areas that need cleaning, but this should only be applied to polished and damage free wood.
After you have cleaned the wood, wipe it down again with a new, clean soft cloth rinsed in clear water, finally it is imperative you dry the wood with soft paper or another clean cloth.

Polishing
For best results, use a beeswax based polish which is applied in small amounts with a small cloth and rubbed in gently until the wood is smooth and polished. Even better, once you have applied the polish, leave it to dry overnight as this helps to treat the wood and give nourishment.

Light Exposure
Do not place your antique furniture in direct sunlight as this causes the wood to fade. If you see antiques that have inconsistent finishing where the wood seems to be "two tone" then this may be caused by polished wood being exposed to direct sunlight where the polished areas as more resistent to fading, thus giving this inconsistent texture and look.

Woodworm Prevention
Check your furniture once a week for woodworm. Look for small holes and powders of wood dust as this is the tell tale sign of woodworm and by checking weekly you can catch this problem early which is key in carrying out effective treatment. Fluid can be purchased to counter act woodworm on unpolished surfaces - for polished areas of wood that has been infected with woodworm then please see your local antqiue furniture restoration specialist.