Linseed Oil & Turpentine for Cleaning Antique Furniture

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Linseed oil and turpentine are great for cleaning antique furniture for a few distinct reasons. Find out more about linseed oil and turpentine for cleaning antique furniture with help from an experienced interior design professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Antique Furniture Care
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Video Transcript

Hi. My name's Jane Brown from Jane Brown Interiors and JaneBrownDesigns.com, and I'm here at my favorite little antique store in New York called Furnished Green in between Broadway and 31st. So please come out and check out all the wonderful things they have for sale up here. So today, we're talking about how to clean antique furniture using Linseed oil and turpentine which is a really old method to clean. And what I love about it is that it's not as toxic and as chemically abrasive as a lot of the other cleaners that you find on the market today. So it's a simple three step process. So we have three parts of Linseed oil, so we pour that into a jar. And the easy way to remember which we have more of is the Linseed oil is heavy. It's like a weighty oil that you would maybe even cook with. And it's yellow and it's textured. So that's the heavier oil. So three parts of the heavier oil, and then the turpentine, which is almost like water and very light, we have one part. So it's three parts and one part turpentine. That's simple. And then what we're going to do is we're going to actually add this mixture to hot water. Because these are very flammable these two mixtures together. And if we wanted to heat it up there's two ways. One is with a flame and the other is with hot water. And this is the really safe way to mix these and to have the formulation just right, so we can use it for cleaning. So and then, that will all settle. And then we'll come back and I'll show you how to use this to clean your antique furniture. Right. So we've done the mixture so what I'm doing now is dipping a rag and I'm putting the Linseed oil and the turpentine mix onto the piece. I've just got this little piece of you know, an antique saw here. Now the essential part for the cleaning process is actually having some light steel wool and then we use that to remove the debris and the built up dirt and excess that's been on the piece. That's really important to make sure that when you're using the steel wool that you rub lightly so as not to damage the piece, especially if it's a very expensive antique and it's a beautiful wood like. Don't do circular motions because if it's a really old and expensive piece of antique furniture, we want to maintain the integrity of the piece with having the grain running the right way. So we just have this little bit of steel wool and we gently rub the steel wool along the grain until we remove all the residue. And you will see that there will be a significant amount of residue that comes off with this mixture, which is great. So we just continue that way really gently along. Once that's done, and you'll be able to see with it, you know, you've got the pieces clean as you'd like it. Then the final piece is that what we do is we get the soft cloth again. We dip it in the mixture and then we do a final coating and the wood is going to absorb as much of this as it needs to. I would recommend that you put it in a well ventilated room just so that it doesn't overpower anybody in the household. And that's a really old fashioned fabulous way to clean antique furniture. So until next time, thanks for watching.

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