1940's Art-Deco Waterfall Furniture

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2014 06:09 PM GMT

Question

We have a Waterfall Bedroom set from the late 30s/ early 40s. It is originally from Pennsylvania but was brought to Colorado 5 years ago. What is best for dusting? Is it ok to use a cloth dipped in 1 cup water with a tablespoon for liquid fabric softener, then wring out the cloth to just damp? Also, do I need to use an oil to maintain the veneer. It looks ok now but I worry about it drying out. We keep a humidifier in the room set at 35%.

Answer

I have never heard of your recipe of water and fabric softener, but I would not recommend it on any finished furniture. Your pieces would be nitro cellulose lacquer, and water is an enemy of that finish...Endust, paste wax, or an oil based polish with NO silicones or wax would be a good choice, but only use such a product monthly or less, and be sure to polish it off as best as you can to prevent build up.Fiddes, Antiquax, or another beeswax polish, Old English, Guardsman, Weimans, or similar make a good product,even Butchers wax, but make sure it says NO silicones.Waxing requires a bit of elbow grease to apply and remove properly, a spray oil based polish is much easier........oil will not maintain the veneer, it's finished with lacquer, which is a film finish that seals the wood...it's not possible to "feed" the wood when it has a finish on it (contrary to what some manufacturers would represent)...if the finish starts to break down, it will need refinishing not some miracle spray on product...maintaining the proper humidity will go a long way towards keeping the piece, (and any other collectibles in the room) in good shape...35% is tough to maintain, but anything above 20% is good.

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