Old and antique furniture pieces can be beautiful pieces, but when they are touched by mold or mildew, it can be difficult to even get near them. Too often, owners of a treasured heirloom piece decide to consign their treasures to the trash heap instead of put in the work to keep them looking fresh.
Here at Howard’s Upholstery, we take our time with every single piece of vintage craftsmanship that comes into our shop. Our custom refinishing techniques can take any piece and help it break the mold that was previously set for it. However, antique owners who want to upgrade the appearance of their item and don’t have close access to a refinishing and reupholstery service can still accomplish a lot by expending a little bit of time and energy.
As this article published by The Denver Post discusses, even pieces that are so mildewy that it triggers your allergies can still be reclaimed. Take for example the story of the centuries-old Hungarian chest, painted by hand, in the above article, which had grown decrepit with green mold in the muggy summers of Florida.
In this case, the green mold that had accumulated upon the chest was not a sign of rotting wood. Rather, the owner was not aware that the paint used to create the decorations around the outside of the chest was milk-based, leaving behind proteins that could feed mold even 200 years after the creation of the piece.
Drying out a moldy piece of furniture is the first step in restoration, which kills the mold and keeps it from growing. Leave it in direct sunlight outside, or by a dehumidifier within your home if you live in an exceptionally muggy area of the country. Once dried, a soft brush or tack cloth will help you remove most of the visible mildew. Some French soap, such as olive oil-based Marseille soap, helps to remove the rest of the mold from a damp surface.
Don’t let yourself be discouraged by a piece of furniture, even if it’s clear that the dresser or table has seen better days. If you live in or around New York City, trust Howard’s Upholstery to know exactly what your vintage piece needs to shine brilliantly once again.