French Provincial Antique Furniture
Don't damage the original patina when cleaning antique furniture.
The wooden portions of genuine French Provincial furniture, which was produced in the 18th century, is typically solid wood, making it easy to clean with basic supplies and techniques. Extra care is necessary to preserve the aesthetically pleasing patina and the weathered appearance of the wood. Because of its age, fabric upholstery in sofas and chairs must be cleaned delicately.
Easy Does It
Ladderback chairs, aged patina finishes, scalloped carvings and cabriole legs are all characteristics of authentic period French Provincial sofas and chairs. Refinishing antiques typically devalues them, so most collectors and conservators keep the original patina by avoiding harsh cleaning products, chemicals and abrasives. A soft cotton cloth and warm, soapy water are usually sufficient to remove ordinary dirt, but a toothbrush helps remove build-ups within intricately carved designs. A mild furniture polish or a layer of beeswax applied in the direction of the wood grain provides a barrier against grime or oil from fingers or food. Delicate aged fabrics in the sofa or chair's upholstery are typically treated with a dry foam extraction product, which is applied gently, then worked into the fabric with a nylon-bristled brush. Light dabbing and pressing with a clean cotton cloth generally pull dirt to the surface.