Cleaning solutions needed:
Solution One--4parts white venegar, 4parts boiled linseed oil, 4parts mineral spirits, 1part denatured alcohol and 3-4 drops of household ammonia.
Solution Two--4parts mineral spirits, 1part boiled linseed oil
Stept 1-- with a course lint free cloth(blue jeans is good) charge the cloth with Solution one and rub in a circular motion, turning a recharging the rag with solution one. Replace rag as it gets dirty. Continue until the whole is cleaned. Hard to clean areas use 0000steel wool with the solution. The final wipe down should be with the grain of the wood. This finish will be cloudy and dry looking at this point.
Step 2--with a lint free cloth charged with Solution Two rub in a circular motion turning rag and recharging with solution two. Replace rag as it gets dirty. Continue until the whole is cleaned and the finish is not cloudy and dry lookeing. Finish by wiping the whole with only minaral spirits.
Step 3-- Apply a good coat of wax( such as a tinted briwax or any of the antique paste waxes that can be found in antique stores) according to the directions on the can. Apply thinly and buff like crazy to a nice clean shine. The looks of the piece can be maintained by waxing once a year and regular dusting and buff to shine. Nothing else needs to be done. I do not recommend endust or pledge. No need for lemon oil or anything.
This is the accepted method of proff antique restorers. After you can say I did not refinish the piece I restored the finish. Happy cleaning Glenn
Thanks so much for the information! I'm going to try this!
Thanks so much for posting your "recipe" and technique Glenn. I have a very old and dirty treadle I purchased and I intend to restore it and use it - so this is a great help. I am sure the vintage machine shop followers will find this useful too.
Oh wow, thanks Glenn. I have black windsor chairs with fruit prints on the back of chair top. Could they be cleaned with the same method. They seem to be soiled ... like a sticky grime. I have tried cleaning it off but it still seems stickyish.
Silly question...I have bookmarked your other tute on applying a shellac finish...which is preferred? The cabinet I intend to restore is pretty rough...the person I bought it from has attempted to sand the top...and the drawers etc are grimy and fairly dry looking. Also, the cast iron base is looking a bit brown and rusty...is it ok just to clean it up and maybe respray black?...your advice would be appreciated. Oh...here's a link to the pic.
Thanks Glenn, as soon as the pollen dies down here in the pines, and I can get back to a ventilated area, I'll give it a try.
Thanks! I have a couple of oooold pieces that need it.
What would you use to clean what looks to be a faux leather-like rectangle on the sideboard of the cabinet? I haven't taken pictures yet, but will try if you have no idea what I am trying to describe (and not doing a very good job either!)
Off to bed now - 4:30 am comes early so I'll check in tomorrow night.
Cindy Lou Who
thanks for the info. I'm going to try it on my antique treadle.
Thanks so very much Glenn, maybe this summer I'll be able to take a look around and see if I can find a good sized cabinet, now that I know how to clean it up.