Antique treen covers a wide range of objects, all fashioned from timber and these delicate pieces do require careful handling as well as regular cleaning and waxing, and with that in mind, here are some useful tips on how to treat treen items in order to keep them in tip-top condition.
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All your wooden ornaments should be cleaned and waxed using natural beeswax, which will help to protect the surfaces from wear and tear and the elements. Antique treen items are always made from quality timber, ranging from walnut to oak, and beeswax can be used on any timber species. This can be carried out every few months, especially if the piece is in an open room and prior to applying the beeswax, thoroughly clean the item with a damp cloth, drying well afterwards.
These contain chemicals that can damage the delicate wooden surface, especially if used consistently. Any substance that comes in contact with your fine antique treen should be suitable and if you are at all unsure, ask for a second opinion from your online antique dealer.
If you place treen in close proximity to radiators, for example, this consistent heat could dry out the timber, so avoid hot zones in all rooms. You should also be wary of direct sunlight, even a few hours a day is enough to harm the delicate surface.
Ask any cabinet maker and they will confirm that the best way to polish treen is with the grain. Going across the grain can cause minute channels of polish to embed into the timber grooves, whereas polishing along the grain removes all traces of polish and allows a shine to form.
Should an item get wet, it should be dried immediately, otherwise, a stain could develop. Unsightly watermarks will make the item look jaded and if not removed, will embed into the next polish, making it even harder to remove. A watermark can be removed with your finger; covered with soft cloth and dampened a little. Never exert pressure on any antique item when cleaning, as this could easily cause damage.
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Treen draws its character from the small marks and imperfections and these should never be removed, otherwise you are taking away some of the item’s appeal. By all means remove any protective coating and reapply, but stop short of changing the surface and leave those quirky little swirls, which adds character to the piece.
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You might be wondering how this could help maintain your treen, yet it puts moisture in the air and this prevents the timber from drying out. If, for example, you placed a walnut cigar box in a very dry environment, you would notice the difference within a month or so. There should be some moisture in the air, and fresh flowers in attractive vases also gives the room some colour and depth.
If you follow the above advice, your antique treen will always be in tip-top condition and with a weekly dust off, these delicate items will add elegance to your living room or study.