View Full Version : OT - How to care for antique/old hope chest?
07-19-2006, 12:09 PM
My DH was lucky enough to be given the hope chest his grandfather gave to his grandmother as a wedding proposal gift. It is cedar and in relatively good shape (although I'd eventually like to get it refinished as it does have some discoloration and scratches). We also were given his grandmother's china cabinet, which also is in good shape but will need professional attention eventually. Anyway, I'm wondering how I care for them now? Can I use regular old Pledge to dust them? Or is there something better?
07-19-2006, 01:29 PM
For starters, I'm a purist and would recommend against refinishing them. The original finish, even with some wear, makes them more valuable (and personally, I love that the dings on my dining room table were from all the family dinners over the years). But if you don't like them that way, then by all means refinish them (it is $$$$, though, I'll warn you).
I use a dry cloth to dust my antique furniture. Pledge can cause build-up, yuck. Once in a while, I'll clean them with Old English Oil (I think that's it - gotta check the cleaning supplies) but not often.
07-19-2006, 01:40 PM
Yeah, I know you weren't asking :) but I vote for not "fixing" them either. I love stuff that has history to it, when you can feel that the piece has a story. And people pay a lot of money for new things that only look antique. Lucky you have the real thing.
We had lots of beautiful old stuff in my house growing up and my dad, who did the dusting, never used Pledge either. He always just used old white t-shirts. Every once in awhile he'd use Old English too.
07-19-2006, 01:50 PM
murphy's oil soap once in a while (maybe 1x/year) and just dry dusting the rest of the time. i brought back my grandmother's cedar hope chest when she passed 2 years ago. unfortunately, it had been down in a basement in arkansas (humidity city) for more than 3 decades, under piles and piles of stuff. there was some pretty extensive water damage on 1 foot and the top was a mess but the cedar and chest itself were immaculate. i decided the value to me was sentimental, not antique value so i had it restored and refinished so i can enjoy it. it is at the foot of our bed now and is just gorgeous. once the top was restored, you can see the beautiful graining in the wood. the restoration guy told me to murphy's oil soap it when it got 'tacky' (you know that kind of wierd 'sticky' feeling wood can get after time, even when you dust it regularly), but to otherwise just dry dust it. this is working so far. i'm certainly no furniture/antique expert, so i'm just repeating what he told me to do - so take it with that grain of salt :).
Sam 5/19/05 How lucky I am that you chose me.
07-19-2006, 08:24 PM
I know someone who owns an Antique store and specializes in farmhouse style tables. She swears by Howard Restor-a-Finish.
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