Tag Archives: antique furniture restoration

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.

Client Spotlight: Antique French Buffet Louis XV

Antique Buffet Louis XV Rococo 1890Melodie A. of Raja Interiors in Chico, CA, wanted to find a gorgeous, antique Louis XV buffet to place in one of her client’s homes. We went searching for the perfect piece and located this beauty in France!

It is delightfully carved with Rococo styling in walnut wood with a lovely grain and rich patina and it dates to 1890.

When we found the buffet in France, there was a crack all the way through the glass in the right upper corner of the large glass door.

Perhaps a little wrinkle is not such a surprise for a buffet that is about 120 years old! What is more surprising is that we find so many of our antique buffets with the glass still in excellent shape. Those French craftsmen made furniture to last!

broken glass

We knew we would replace that glass panel prior to shipping, but we had no idea that it would take a specialist to cut and hand-grind the bevel. We took the broken pieces to our local glass store and they explained that due to the unusual shape of the glass (it sort of resembles a paisley), their machines could not possibly cut a bevel all the way around the piece. We also didn’t want to just replace it with flat glass, as that would take away from the beauty of the buffet.

After much searching and networking, I finally located a true artist, Charles Offutt, at Artisan in Glass, in Canton, Georgia. I sent the pieces to him and he said it took an entire day to hand-grind the beveled edge of the replacement glass. He is truly a miracle-worker in glass! If I didn’t know which panel had been replaced, I would never be able to tell. Here’s the buffet with the restored glass in its new home.

French Antique Buffet 1890

Melodie was very patient during this process and she contacted me to say that she received the buffet in good condition and both she and her client are very pleased. We are always glad to hear from happy customers! At more than 8 feet tall, the antique Louis XV buffet is definitely the grand dame of the space. That white ceramic pitcher sets it off so gracefully too. You could say: “It’s pitcher perfect!” Groan…

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 8 (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 4

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture – Part 4

In this fourth episode in a series on the best way to clean and wax antique furniture, Greg from EuroLux Antiques shows you how to do a final buff in order to really make your antique furniture look great.

Antique Furniture: Clean & Wax First

In 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.

Wax On, Wax Off

If you watched the movie, Karate Kid from 1984, you’ll remember that Mr. Miyagi used the “wax on, wax off” technique to train Daniel (Ralph Macchio) how to do karate. While building muscles is a good thing to do to get in shape, when it comes to buffing wax off antique furniture, there is a better way. Greg shows the best way to buff off wax by using a brush attachment on a drill in Part 3.

Microfiber Cloths Work Best

You can find microfiber cloths in big packs at any hardware store, auto parts store, or even big box warehouse stores. Be sure to use clean ones for the final buff, which happens after you have already done a first buff. Microfiber cloths are soft and won’t scratch the surface of your antique furniture.

Two-Handed Technique Gets Job Done Fast

Greg prefers to use a two-handed approach that he perfected while working at a car wash in high school. He rubs the microfiber cloths quickly over the surface of the antique furniture, using a circular motion without much pressure. It is similar to buffing a pair of shoes – go lightly and quickly. You should really see your antique furniture start to shine!

In the last episode of this series, Greg will show you how to buff wax off antique furniture the old-fashioned way – without the drill attachment.

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!