Best Furniture Polishes 2015

Best Furniture Polish for antiques

Historical Furniture / April 16, 2023

Some pieces of furniture, especially those constructed of harder woods, such as walnut, mahogany, maple, oak, or cherry, may only need to have their surface finish preserved. In the case of furniture made of these woods, there may be enough of the original finish left to restore the piece rather than refinish it.

Before doing anything, study your piece. Is the finish pretty much intact? Does the piece have a nice patina? Is the piece more than 100 years old? If you answered yes to even one of these questions, then you should do your best to preserve the finish of your piece.

The first step to preservation is cleaning. Furniture gets dirty, even grimy over time. Before you can apply a new finish, you need to get rid of all the accumulated dirt and grease that often make it difficult to tell what kind of wood the piece of furniture is made of. Grime can also hide the fine lines of inlay and marquetry. Believe it or not, using lemon oil, a popular furniture polish, can do more harm than good. Since its made of a light petroleum oil and some paraffin wax, the wood doesn’t absorb it. Instead, it acts as a surface dust catcher.

One of the best products for cleaning wood, especially furniture, is Murphy’s Oil Soap. Today, it’s also in a spray bottle, but in case you can’t find it that way, you can make your own cleaning solution by mixing a capful of Murphy’s in a spray bottle of water. For this, you can use any empty spray cleaner bottle, as long as you wash it out thoroughly first. Since water will loosen any glued joint, and also tends to raise the grain of the wood, you don’t’ want to use very much. An old washcloth will do quite well for cleaning.