Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>How do I clean an antique farm table
5 posts / 0 new
Last post
How do I clean an antique farm table

I purchased an antique farm table from the 1850's. The wood is walnut. The top is either buttermilk red paint or a red finish which of course the finish worn in some areas which is what we like, a distressed look. Underneath the table the boards are not treated. What products do I use to clean the table. The table has three boards and the middle board is cracked, but it is a straight crack from the wood being dried out. We would like to clean the top and treat the wood underneath without affecting it's value.

Re: How do I clean an antique farm table

Greeting Kem,

This is Mike from The Home Depot in Chicago and I’m here to help. Sounds like you got your hands on something special. There are a few products by the company Old English you may want to look into that may help take care of your antique. The Old English oil conditions your wood, helps protect against water spills and gives your wood furniture a rich natural glow. It’s specially formulated to work on oak, teak, walnut and all natural woods. This comes in a 16oz bottle. When polishing your furniture use old cloth diapers, terry towels, cotton knitwear or flannel cloths. Soft paper towels can also be safely used and will give excellent results.

This item will help protect and save your nice table from everyday wear and tear. It will also help keep it as natural looking as possible. I’d also check out other products from them for scratch cover and general conditioning to your table.

If you need any assistance feel free to let me know.


Re: How do I clean an antique farm table

Oh L*rd...here we go again with a HD-advice person...:rolleyes:

The advice is fine....IF...the table didn't have some kind of paint on it, like the OP says!!! I'd say 95% of people out there are aware of simple Lemon-Oil care products.

Check out Howards Restore-a-Finish. There are various stain colors of it available. Choose the color closest to your woods overall tone.
* It's not really a stripper, but old finish that's in poor condition will come off.
* It does leave some color behind.
* After this has dried for at least a week, various Tung-Oils will look cool! These lend themselves to a more rubbed-in look, rather than the "plastic-ey" look of Polyurethane layers.
* R-A-F has VEEEEEeeeeerryyyy slow-drying Mineral-Oil in it. This precludes using ANY kind of Poly for at least a MONTH.
* Waterlox is a very good Tung-Oil finish, but you'd have to check and see if it can be used over cleaned/stained wood. Call their company.
* EXTREMELY GOOD Waterlox help/info page...http://http://www.waterlox.com/project-help/


Re: How do I clean an antique farm table

THIS page from Waterlox is even more direct-to-the-point...

Previous finishes:


Re: How do I clean an antique farm table

I have never used this product but took a look at my favorite wood working website and found a furniture polish and cleaner called Americas Best from the Wood Workers Supply. Here is the link for the item I found http://woodworker.com/furniture-polish-cleaner-mssu-29587.asp?search=cleaner&searchmode=2 . I never have had any problems with their products but as I said haven't tried it either. I think though for your purposes since you don't want to take away from the value this would be the best. My advice though is whatever you use,use it sparingly and in a corner where it will not show in case it doesn't work well for you. Then carefully turn your table over and use any high quality wood filler from the botttom. The wood filler should slow down any further cracking from the wood drying out and not show. Good Luck to you! Happy New year!

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.