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How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture: Part 5

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture: Part 5

Posted by Aimee Talbot on 13th Mar 2013

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture: Part 5

This is the last episode in our series on how to best clean and wax antique furniture. Greg from shows you how to buff off wax the old-fashioned way, without a brush attachment for your drill. This time Greg is demonstrating his technique on a darker piece of antique furniture.

Clean Antique Furniture, Then Apply Wax

In case you missed Part 1, Greg showed the best way to clean off the built up layers of dust and grime on the surface of antique furniture. In Part 2, he demonstrated how to apply furniture wax to your antique furniture using a brush.

TLC Wax Works Great on Antiques

We prefer TLC paste wax, which is an American-made furniture wax, because it is easier to buff that other products we’ve tried. On darker pieces of antique furniture, we like to use the mahogany variety because it gives a nice warm glow to antiques.

Apply a thin coat of wax until it becomes hazy and then let the wax dry a minimum of 30 minutes, but overnight is better.

The Easy Way to Buff Antique Furniture

In Part 3, Greg shows the best way to buff off paste wax by using a natural fiber brush attachment on your drill. You can buy a brush attachment from a furniture restoration company, such as Van Dyke’s Restorers. However, if you don’t have a brush attachment, or even a drill, Greg will demonstrate what to do next.

Old-Fashioned, Muscle Power Technique

The process of buffing paste wax off antique furniture is similar to the process of sanding during woodworking. Start with a courser material first, and then use a finer material with each consecutive pass.

In this case, Greg starts with a hand towel that has a relatively rough nap to start the buffing process. He uses a circular motion with light, even pressure. You might even hear the voice of Mr. Miyagi from the 1984 movie, The Karate Kid, in your head telling you to “wax on, wax off.”

Use Microfiber Cloths for Final Buff

Next, Greg uses two clean microfiber cloths in his two-handed technique that he perfected while working at a car wash in high school. Use light pressure in a circular motion. When the microfiber cloths “catch” on the surface of the antique sideboard, Greg rubs a little more in that area to gently buff off the wax. When the surface begins to feel like glass under your towels, you’re done.

Wax Antique Furniture Annually

Now your antique furniture should shine and have a nice layer of wax which will serve to protect the finish against dust and sunlight. You should wax your antique furniture once per year in order to keep it looking great!

Please let us know if we can answer any questions for you about how to best care for your antique furniture!

Aimee owns with her best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!