ONLINE GALLERY
ABOUT US
SHOWROOM
1 (301) 530-0175
STYLES OVERVIEW RESTORATION REQUEST FORM
 

CARING FOR ANTIQUE FRENCH FURNITURE

HUMIDITY CONTROL

Most of the furniture we sell was crafted in France, which has a very humid climate. In addition, central heating did not become widespread there until late in the 20th century. For these reasons, our furniture is accustomed to higher levels of relative humidity than are common in American homes. During the heating season especially, indoor humidity may drop low enough (10-30%) to dry out and weaken furniture joints or shrink flat wood surfaces, resulting in splitting, cracking or warping.

Do not wait for damage to occur. Take preventative measures to protect these and all your valuables -- old and new wood furniture, plants, paintings, ivory and books, among other things, are all subject to damage from low humidity, and personal comfort is actually enhanced by proper humidity control.

There are several possible courses of action to maintain adequate relative humidity during the heating season. Authorities recommend a minimum relative humidity level of 45% at temperatures of 6872 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve this, you might consider placing open pans of water near heating units or selecting, installing and using any of a variety of humidifiers on the market.

SURFACE PROTECTION

Tables

Table bases may be cared for as in A. above. Table tops require special attention. They are natural wood, and all wood is subject to scratching and to damage from heat, cold and moisture. We recommend periodic (as needed) use of paste wax, which allows moisture to bead, preventing immediate damage from spills. You must wipe spills up as quickly as possible even when using wax. Heat and cold will create discoloration or shadowing in the finish. Some damage of this type may be permanent, removable only through refinishing. Such damage may be prevented entirely through use of table pads and tablecloths, a practice which was routing at the time of manufacture. Placemats provide only limited protection.

Furniture Other than Tables

After finish is applied to the surfaces of our furniture, we generally apply a protective layer of wax. We recommend you use no chemical products whatsoever on your pieces until they begin to dull. When and if that happens, you may apply a coat of paste wax following manufacturer instructions. Johnson's or Minwax work well.

FURTHER READING

 

Home page | Awards & Affiliations | Press | French Style | Policy | Privacy Statement | E­mail

TOP
Copyright 1998-2010 Sparrows