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Sealing the dirt & patina of old furniture to make it usable

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Krome10

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Hi all

What I have in mind is this... I've bought several pieces of furniture which are very old and have a lot of the years of dirt and previous finishes still on them. Rub the wood with a cloth for example and the cloth quickly gets quite blackened. They were bought in "as is" condition, and they are rustic and worn and that's part of their charm for me.

So I don't want to clean them up too much otherwise it will potentially start to change the colour and finish on them. On the other hand, leave them as is and I'll be limited as to the type of thing I can put in them. The plan is therefore to give them a bit of a clean, and then perhaps a clear matt sealant of some sort which will give a protective barrier for anything being stored inside.

Does such a product exist??

Thanks in advance to any helpers :D
 

sunnybob

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If the cloth comes away black, thats just dirt.

Regardless of opinions of "patina" you need to clean all the dirt off. No finish will stick to dirt.
 

Roxie

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I have used this in the past to good effect:
Equals parts of, Meths, White Spirit, Danish oil, Vinegar.
Applied with 100 wire wool, wipe off with rag, reapply if necessary.

John
 

Jacob

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Soap and warm water. Sponge or flannel. Tooth brush around the cracks and crevices. Not too hot, not to allow it to soak in, not to scrub too hard. Test it first as some finishes would simply wash straight off.
Then look at finishes - maybe nothing at all, or wax polish, or linseed oil.
Avoid varnishes as these are for "re-finishing" rather than just perking up existing. Be cautious with Danish/Osmo oil types as these are half way between being oils or varnish and may be more than you need.
 

Trevanion

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Garnet polish straight on top, sticks to about anything regardless of dirt.
 
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