Posted: 02/08/2014 at 06:36
One tip I can give you before starting a project is to clean old wooden furniture witha a mixture of equal parts of boiled linseed oïl, turpentine and white spirit vinegar. If you intend to paint, first remove any knobs, handles etc. Rub the mixture on with a soft cloth to remove all dirt. Keep applying till it comes clean. Use an old toothbrush to get into awkward corners and carvings. If it's really ingrained, use finest mesh wire wool that doesn't scratch. Wipe off excess with another cloth and leave to dry and air for a day before doing any repairs to holes and starting to paint.
This method avoids the need for heavy sanding which can remove any patina you wish to preserve. It's great for bringing new life to something you don't want to paint such as oak or antique pine furniture and feeds the wood of anything you do intend to paint. Bit like moisturising your skin before applying make up.
If you're using water based paints, leave it to dry an extra day before painting and protect the finished effect with a couple of coats of acrylic varnish but not more than 3 as it will go milky.