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  Damaged furniture, restoration and insurance

Antique furniture can be a sound investment and can also carry a lot of emotional value so keeping it in pristine condition is vital. Even with the best of intentions though, antiques can be damaged and end up requiring restoration.


It's best to take measures which will prevent damage to your furniture, so it isn't placed in the position of having to be restored. Therefore, it might not be a good idea to have your piece of antique furniture in an area in which it will receive a lot of heavy use - particularly if there are children or pets in the room frequently.

It's important to keep antique furniture away from strong sunlight in all cases, as ultraviolet rays can cause damage to finishes and fabrics.

Furniture is also susceptible to damage from the atmosphere, particularly the level of moisture in the air. Changes in humidity cause expansion and contraction in wood, leading to issues with stuck doors and drawers. If the humidity is long lasting, then rot and mould growth is possible. Placing antique furniture in close proximity to radiators and air vents can cause similar problems as the dry air shrinks the timber.

There is a common misconception amongst people that antique furniture needs to be fed with lashings of furniture oil or wax to avoid it drying out; wood does not in fact need to be “fed” at all. Whilst regular treatment can help furniture keep looking its best, a good way of keeping the furniture at its best is to not keep it somewhere which is hot and dry, like an attic, or somewhere cold and damp, like a garage or basement. Furniture wax adds pleasant shine and offers some protection, but applying too much can lead to a build-up of dirt and grime, it's best to build up layers of polish slowly over time.

If you`re planning on using a silicone-based polish, then think again: these can infiltrate the finish, causing issues with restoration or repairs in the future and also leave a hard to shift film. A natural beeswax-based polish is generally considered to be the best for antiques, use one with added carnauba wax if you want a harder, more durable finish.


When it comes to restoration, it's usually best to leave the work to the professionals as any attempts that you make yourself have the potential to cause more even more damage. Antique furniture restorers are usually adept in a number of disciplines, including carving, French polishing and parquetry - skills which take years to master, so taking on the job yourself may prove counterproductive.

Just let us know if you have an item which requires attention.


It's also highly advisable to get any antique pieces of antique furniture that you have covered against accidental damage with a robust contents insurance policy. Most contents insurance policies offer cover up to a certain amount and not over. Therefore, you should get your antique furniture valued and perhaps think about taking out an additional insurance policy to cover a single antique if it's of particularly high value. You should also have photographic documentation of your antiques, as part of our restoration and upholstery work we routinely take photographs at various stages of the work and can supply these, and detailed reports if required, there is a cost associated with producing these reports although it is quite reasonable, contact us if you'd like to know more.

To find a good deal, you can compare house insurance online. Comparison sites have made checking where the most attractively priced deals are located much easier than it was previously, you can now browse through offers from lots of different providers by just entering a few details. Always remember though to compare the features of the policy as well as the price, as the cheapest deal may not necessarily be the best. Just as with furniture restoration and upholstery work.

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