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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2007

    Default Cleaning antique "oak" furniture

    I have a sideboard and dressers in what I think is called "fumed oak" - antiques where the finish was made to look like oak while using other woods instead. It's a fairly dark finish, with almost "tiger" effects - I wish it really was tiger oak!
    How do I clean it and polish it without damaging the finish? I am hesitant to use anything with water as I've seen other pieces where someone has left a coffee cup and lifted a permanent ring out of the surface.
    Any ideas are welcome!
    Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
    Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2003
    Back in the 9A


    Murphy's Oil Soap.
    Jonah 4:4: And the Lord said, "Do you do well to be angry?"

    College football season is over .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2010
    Upstate New York


    Quote Originally Posted by cllane1 View Post
    Murphy's Oil Soap.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2005


    Avoid hot water- hand warm is best!
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Martinsburg, WV USA


    Fuming won't change the underlying grain structure of the wood. So if it was fumed and looks like oak, then it's oak.

    Faux bois was the technique used to paint "common" woods to look like more expensive woods. Basically, it was "fake graining." The "common" wood (pine, alder, whatever) was painted to look like oak, cherry, chestnut, mahogany, etc. Then a clear finish )often shellac) was put over the faux bois painting.

    Your best bet for cleaning it is to use mineral spirits. If the finish is shellac then anything with water (including Murphy's) will "haze" it (think leaving the moisture rings).

    You can check out old house sites for lots of information on antique furniture and finishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom
    "Now, did you really mean that I should half-pass to the right whilst turning on the haunches to the left? Or was that just you farting?"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006


    I have the perfect solution. Dr. Woodwell Wood Elixir.
    Wipe on - wipe off. Satisfaction guaranteed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2005


    Murphy's oil soap let it sit for a day then brush some wood oil on it.

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