Rare Victorian Forum: Restoration Tips for Cleaning Compo
Tcandkk may be a newbie poster on the Rare Victorian board, but it’s already obvious that she’s not a newbie when it comes to buying Victorian furniture. She loves a deal and is prepared to put the work in to bring a less than perfect piece back to its original glory.
One of her new (old) pieces is a sideboard with a raised carving on the front panel of each door. They’re in desperate need of a good cleaning so she came to the boards looking for advice on how to get it done. Woodwright thought they might be made of composition, which would make them very susceptible to damage from strong strippers and water-based products.
Tcandkk isn’t taking any chances, she’ll be using Plastilina to make an imprint of the carvings so she can cast new ones if these become damaged.
Jaxdrifter came by looking for some advice on cleaning and restoring a couch and chair set. You can see by the close-up photo that the carved arm has quite a few scratches and worn areas. Woodwright suggests the use of gel stains. Thicker than normal stains, they don’t soak into the wood, which means the final color will be more even and uniform.
If you like to curl up with a good book after a hard day of restoration, ThePeacockRoom suggests Culture & Comfort: People, Parlors and Upholstery 1850-1930 by Katherine Grier. The suggestions stems from a thread about the use of horsehair stuffing, a material that goes all the way back to the late 1600’s. You can read all about it in HERE in the Rare Victorian Forum.
Do you have a question about cleaning, restoration or Victorian materials? Post it to the forum, our members love a challenge.