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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: Antique Trunk

Posted By: roger demuth <fero@sbcglobal.net> (adsl-68-72-222-209.dsl.akrnoh.ameritech.net)
Date: 2/6/5 15:35

In Response To: Antique Trunk (Jenn)

Jenn, It sounds like preserving it would be preferable to refinishing. I imagine it has lots of dirt, a lot of which is probably into the finish. I would suggest a good washdown first with mineral spirits or paint thinner. This will remove any old oils or wax with may have accumulated over the years. Follow this with another washdown with TSP (trisodium phosphate). Work in small areas and with as little water as possible, drying as you go because the finish is most likely shellac or lacquer - either of which can be damaged by lots of water. Let it dry overnight and put on a coat of wax, buffing the wax out with 0000 steel wool. There are lots of waxes on the market. You can get several from Woodcraft.com or buy some at the local home center from Minwax. This of course applies only to the wood parts.

For the leather you can do the heavy cleaning with the TSP, followed by a regular leather cleaner. Follow with a leather presevative to soften it. You can get both from Tandy Leather (on line I think), or simply to to an auto parts store where they sell products to clean and preserve leather interiors on cars. I have found that auto leather products work fairly well not only on my car interior but on other leather as well. This of course assumes that the leather has not been finished with lacquer or shellac. If it has been, treat it like the wood parts of the trunk. Good luck.

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