Tag Archives: antique furniture care

How to Fix Scratches on Antique Furniture with Furniture Crayons

As part of our series on antique furniture restoration tips and tricks, I made this YouTube Video about how to easily fix wood blemishes, watermarks and scratches on antique furniture using furniture crayons. It is a question we hear quite often from friends and other people who have antique furniture. Perhaps they’ve accidentally scratched the wood moving the piece from room to room, or perhaps they have inherited a beloved heirloom that needs a little TLC.

In any case, we all know that we get a few wrinkles as we age! So here’s how you can do a little touch up and hide that blemish. This also works for new wood furniture that might have some superficial dings.

This is the video I made on YouTube about how to use furniture crayons to disguise scratches or other marks in the wood. I’ll also give a summary below.


There are various furniture crayons available, but Greg and I like to use Blendal sticks. Then we use Mohawk Tone Finish to set the crayons.

In the video example, I show how to use the furniture crayons to help with two different blemishes on an antique buffet or server. One is a gouge and scrape to the finish and the other one is a wear spot.

Here’s the secret: When you use your furniture crayons, you must apply several different colors, rather than try to exactly match one color of wood. This is because aged wood isn’t one color, it has earned a patina of time that is subtly beautiful. And even new furniture crafted in antique style is often distressed so the wood looks aged.

So for this antique buffet in the video, I use a dark brown furniture crayon, a red one, an even darker brown one, and a black. The black is probably the most important one!

As I work the crayons into the wood, I’m going with the grain of the wood and I keep changing colors, adding a little of one color then a little of another. I rub it in with my fingers. It’s all about being patient and keep applying color until you feel like you have really camouflaged it in.

As I said, black is important and I use it to give little grain lines, feathering it with my hand and putting a little more pressure on to smudge it in.  Don’t be afraid to mix the colors because that’s what gives you the visual depth. Antique pieces do have different layers and shades on the patina of the wood from natural aging. They are not uniform in tone, and that’s part of what makes a piece of antique furniture look so wonderful.

Be sure to always use your fingers to rub along the same grain as the wood. I keep adding layers of color until I feel like I’ve made the match. You’ll see that in the video I’m really taking my time and using a lot of colors until I feel like it’s going to blend in with what’s there. Still, I fix both marks in less then 10 minutes, so it’s pretty easy!

If you are working on an area that has a lot of carving, you might need to use a toothbrush to get into the all nooks and details of the carving.

Then I stand back and look at the whole piece.  I know I’m finished when the area I worked on doesn’t jump out at me!

Finally I use Mohawk Tone Finish to set the furniture crayons. We like to use the satin variety rather than a shiny one, because we find it blends in better.

I shake it to mix up the product and then do a test spray to make my nozzle is spraying evenly. Then I spray a really light mist. I let it set for just a minute and then give it another very light mist again.

Sometimes you have to do two passes, especially when it’s a bigger chip or ding. But after the tone finish, you can’t really see that there was a problem there at all.

When this dries, the work I’ve done really will have blended in. The blemish doesn’t jump out any more!

If you have any questions about how to fix blemishes, watermarks and scratches on antique furniture using furniture crayons, please do leave a comment in the comment box below!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 7 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture: Part 5

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture: Part 5

This is the last episode in our series on how to best clean and wax antique furniture. Greg from EuroLuxAntiques.com shows you how to buff off wax the old-fashioned way, without a brush attachment for your drill. This time Greg is demonstrating his technique on a darker piece of antique furniture.

Clean Antique Furniture, Then Apply Wax

In case you missed Part 1, Greg showed the best way to clean off the built up layers of dust and grime on the surface of antique furniture. In Part 2, he demonstrated how to apply furniture wax to your antique furniture using a brush.

TLC Wax Works Great on Antiques

We prefer TLC paste wax, which is an American-made furniture wax, because it is easier to buff that other products we’ve tried. On darker pieces of antique furniture, we like to use the mahogany variety because it gives a nice warm glow to antiques.

Apply a thin coat of wax until it becomes hazy and then let the wax dry a minimum of 30 minutes, but overnight is better.

The Easy Way to Buff Antique Furniture

In Part 3, Greg shows the best way to buff off paste wax by using a natural fiber brush attachment on your drill. You can buy a brush attachment from a furniture restoration company, such as Van Dyke’s Restorers. However, if you don’t have a brush attachment, or even a drill, Greg will demonstrate what to do next.

Old-Fashioned, Muscle Power Technique

The process of buffing paste wax off antique furniture is similar to the process of sanding during woodworking. Start with a courser material first, and then use a finer material with each consecutive pass.

In this case, Greg starts with a hand towel that has a relatively rough nap to start the buffing process. He uses a circular motion with light, even pressure. You might even hear the voice of Mr. Miyagi from the 1984 movie, The Karate Kid, in your head telling you to “wax on, wax off.”

Use Microfiber Cloths for Final Buff

Next, Greg uses two clean microfiber cloths in his two-handed technique that he perfected while working at a car wash in high school. Use light pressure in a circular motion. When the microfiber cloths “catch” on the surface of the antique sideboard, Greg rubs a little more in that area to gently buff off the wax. When the surface begins to feel like glass under your towels, you’re done.

Wax Antique Furniture Annually

Now your antique furniture should shine and have a nice layer of wax which will serve to protect the finish against dust and sunlight. You should wax your antique furniture once per year in order to keep it looking great!

Please let us know if we can answer any questions for you about how to best care for your antique furniture!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture – Part 3

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture – Part 3

In this third episode in our series about the best way to clean and wax antique furniture, Greg at EuroLux Antiques shows you how to buff off the applied wax using a brush attachment on a drill.

Clean First, Then Apply Wax To Antique Furniture

In case you missed the first two episodes, Part One describes how to best clean antique furniture, while Part Two shows how to apply a thin layer of wax to your antiques.We’ve tried a great number of paste wax products, but we prefer TLC wax because it is easier to buff and gives a nice, warm glow to antique furniture.

Use Paste Wax with Beeswax

Apply a thin layer of wax to your piece of antique furniture with a soft-bristle brush and then let it set for at least a half an hour – the longer, the better. Even overnight would be fine. Just make sure to use paste wax that has beeswax in it.

Buff with a Natural Fiber Brush Attachment on a Drill

We clean and wax a great amount of antique furniture, so we’ve learned how to do it quickly and with the least amount of effort. We highly recommend using a corded drill with a soft, natural fiber brush attachment. You can also get a paint brush from a hardware store with a narrow handle and cut it down to fit in your drill.

Use Light Pressure in a Circular Motion

Now use very light pressure and move the brush attachment in a circular motion back and forth across the piece of antique furniture, doing small sections at a time. The wax will begin to heat up and then will begin to shine.

Use a Micro-Fiber Cloth for Final Polish

We recommend using a micro-fiber towel to give a final polish to your piece of antique furniture. You can find big packs of micro-fiber towels at warehouse stores or hardware stores. Greg like to ball up a micro-fiber towel in his hand and then very lightly rub it quickly back and forth across the area where he has buffed with the drill attachment. When it feels smooth like glass under your towel, you’ll know that you are done.

Stay tuned for the next blog post for more tips on how to best clean and wax your antique furniture. Let us know if you have any questions!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture – Part 2

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture – Part 2

In this episode, Greg at EuroLuxAntiques continues to teach you the best way to clean and wax a piece of antique furniture.

Clean Antique Furniture with Howard Restor-A-Finish

Just to bring you up to date, in the first video of this series, Greg showed you how to use Howard Restor-A-Finish to remove the built-up layers of old wax, dirt, and grime on the surface of the piece. It is best to use a natural fiber brush attachment with a drill, but you can also use fine grade (0000 4x) steel wool.

Use Paste Wax to Protect Antique Furniture

Once you have cleaned your antique furniture, you should use a good quality paste wax in order to protect and enhance your antique furniture. A nice layer of wax protects the original finish against dust and sunlight, and helps to keep the moisture content of the wood stable. You only need to wax your antique furniture once per year, and otherwise just use a clean, barely damp cloth or a duster to remove the dust on a regular basis.

TLC Furniture Wax Works Great on Antiques

We’ve tried just about every paste wax out on the market, but we prefer TLC furniture wax for antique furniture. It comes in a variety of stains, but we prefer to use the neutral variety for light-colored wood and the mahogany color for all dark-colored pieces of antique furniture. While they do make brown and dark brown, we find that the mahogany gives a nice glow to the darker pieces.

Apply A Thin Layer of Paste Wax to Antique Furniture

We use a soft bristle brush to apply a thin layer of paste wax, but you can also put it on with fine grade (0000 4x) steel wool. Apply the wax in a light, circular motion, trying to go with the grain, so that you work the wax down into the grain of the wood on your antique furniture. Be careful to not to put too much on as it will make it much harder to buff off later.

Let Wax Dry, Even Overnight

You should begin to see a haze over your antique furniture where you have applied the paste wax. Now it is best to let the wax dry for a minimum of 30 minutes, but better is several hours, or even overnight.

Stay tuned for the next episode, as Greg will show you the best way to buff off the paste wax that you have applied to your antique furniture.

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or subscribe to this blog!

5 Best Tips for Antique Furniture Care

Antique Furniture Care – What Should I Do?

5 Best Tips for Antique Furniture Care

Here at EuroLux Antiques, we are often asked how to best care for antique furniture. Just remember these five key tips for antique furniture care, and your antiques will look great for many years to come.

Dodge the Draft

My best piece of advice when it comes to caring for antique furniture is to avoid air blowing directly on your piece of furniture. Don’t place antique furniture over or next to a heat register in the floor or under a vent in the ceiling. Wood separation, splitting, and cracking are exacerbated by fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Find out more about wood separation here.

Keep out of Sunlight

Direct sunlight falling on a piece of antique furniture will cause the finish to deteriorate at an accelerated rate. Eventually the finish will look very faded and washed out. Of course, you don’t need to keep your home in the dark in order to care for your antique furniture. Just be sure to have some sort of sheer curtains, or blinds, so that you can diffuse harsh sunlight.

Use a Humidifier

If you live in a geographic area where there are significant swings in humidity throughout the year, you may want to place a humidifier in your home in order to help care for your antique furniture. The moisture content in the wood of your antique furniture will adjust to the ambient humidity in your home. These fluctuations throughout the year, from the humid days of summer to the dryness caused by heating your home in the winter, will cause an increase in wood separation, and may result in splits and cracks in your wood.

Avoid Spray-On Products

Don’t use cleaning products that you spray on your antique furniture. These products actually create a waxy buildup over time that will make your antique furniture look hazy and dull. They actually attract dust, which means you have to buy another bottle of the product, making the manufacturer happy. Just use a soft rag, very slightly dampened, or a duster, to lift the dust on a regular biweekly or monthly basis.

Apply Paste Wax Once Per Year

The best way to care for your antique furniture, on an on-going basis, is to use a good paste wax once per year. There are quite a few brands of paste wax available on the market, but we prefer TLC wax. We find it gives a beautiful glow and is easier to work with than other brands. Apply a thin layer of paste wax with 0000 (4x) steel wool and then buff off with a microfiber towel or use a brush attachment with a drill.

Remember these 5 tips for antique furniture care and your antiques will look beautiful for many years to come!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her hubby and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!