Time to get started

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Corporate Member
As I said earlier, I am now starting to restore some furniture from my grandparents house.

I had planned on getting started last week but my Explorer had different ideas. :BangHead: :crybaby2: :BangHead: :eusa_booh ...
So...I have now dropped and changed the front differential and have changed the passenger side lower ball joint.
Saturday, when I have changed the driver's side lower ball joint, I can get started on the antiques.

Here are some pics of the first pieces that I am starting on.

The clock has been in my grandparents house since before I was born.
I do not know the exact age but, since it is electric, it can only go back so far.

The end table/book holder was bought by my grandparents when they got married.
As you can tell, the finish is worn. It looks like the finish is worn off in a lot of areas and we are down to bare wood. There seems to be a few stains too.

And these glass doors go to the bookcase. There are more doors but you get the idea. They need refinishing and some need actual work.

I think that my first order of business is to get some moisture into all of these pieces. It looks to me that all of this wood is so dry, it is likely as brittle as glass.

I have read that boiled linseed oil is a good way to start.
What I would like to do though is not only start getting moisture into this wood, I would also like to try lifting some of the dirt and contaminents out of the finish.
My goal here is to get the finish as nice as possible. My last resort is to strip anything. Having said that however, these pieces are not going to leave the family and how good they look, as well as durability almost trumps market value. I am patient and am not against taking time if the best option calls for that.
What I am trying to say is, market value means little if it looks like these pieces currently look.

So now I need your advice. How best can I start. Boiled Linseed...or os there a better way to go?


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New User
You can buy cleaners,but they are usually over-priced items targeted at the inexperienced.
Mix 4 parts white spirits to 1 part linseed.0000 steel wool dipped in the solution.Rub evenly,with the grain and very lightly.Keep the wool wet.
Wear heavy gloves,rubber of course.Respirator.Should do outside in the driveway.
Put plastic/heavy cardboard down on ground.You will spill some.It won't stain forever but you will get white bleached out looking spots on pavement and such.
Wipe the piece clean with lots of rags.A compressor is best for blowing solution from all cracks and carvings as you wipe off.
And if you haven't used linseed oil before...look it up.Don't crumble up the rags when you are done,lay out flat.Put them outside to dry before throwning out.Or better yet,cut the top off a liter/gallon size drink container and soak them in water a few days,keep it filled with water,don't store indoors.
At this point the piece needs to dry.The spirits will pretty much vaporate everything. Let it sit a day,even better..a week.Nothing worse than applying finish and having it blush on you afterwards.
A great finish at this stage is Tung oil.Make sure it is 100% Tung oil and not some brand name concoction.I would try it out on the bottom or inside of legs first to see how it blends the blotchy mess together first.You may want to stop after one coat and wax...you may want more coats of Tung...you decide.
And remember with antiques and old unknown finishes,it never works the same way twice.Use common sense and try everything on the backside first.
Have fun.


New User
I'm used to working with Euro companies and furniture.That's what it's known as in the rest of the world.Use a 100% mineral spirit.The make shouldn't matter.
And one more thing,the clock just looks dusty and caked a bit.Nothing a bit of lemon oil shouldn't take care of.
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