For some antique pieces, braving the elements is part and parcel to everyday life. Outdoor furniture and decoration can make a garden feel alive, as well as give it a sense of purpose. But, by the time most furniture or statues become an antique they have had plenty of time to accumulate wear and tear.
So, if you want to know how to restore your antique garden pieces to their former glory, follow these easy to do it yourself steps.
For anyone who owns cane furniture, the beauty of the pieces is undeniable. A style dating back to as early as the 200 AD, the weaving of the natural cane material makes a stunning finish. However, over time your antique cane furniture may begin to unravel or experience damage. Restoring this is important to maintain the integrity of the furniture.
Check before repair begins that it will not devalue the piece to do so. If not, remove the cane that has become dry or otherwise damaged first and foremost. To do this create a hole which follows the angle of the original cane. From this hole you can pull the damaged piece to remove it from the furniture.
Once the old cane is gone, you can clean the gap created and even sand it down slightly to make repair easier. Place your replacement cane into the new gap and use a combination of hammer and glue get it into place. If you do not feel capable of doing this yourself, then consider consulting a professional.
To avoid further damage there are a number of steps that you can take. Particularly, if your cane furniture suffers breakages due to drying out then you should store it out of direct sunlight whenever possible. If mould builds up on the furniture then regularly cleaning with a mix of bleach and warm water is the best way to treat the problem and prevent it from building up again.
Cleaning up a statue that has seen the test of time can bring new life to it and your garden. For this you will need a bristle brush, cloth, craft knife and plastic gloves. A mild detergent and warm water is also needed for discoloured pieces.
A statue can be a great focal point in your garden, but unsightly moss and damages can be a problem for your aesthetic. Use your brush to carefully remove all moss, dirt and crumbling pieces of the statue itself. Then use your light detergent and warm water mixture to wipe away any residue or discolouration that may have occurred over time. Some discolouration may be too far gone, but this simply adds character to the piece.
If there are large cracks or sections missing you can choose to fill these. However, consider carefully before you do so as it can affect the value of the piece. Any repairs should be as minimal as possible.
Always consider the integrity of a piece before restoration. Also, being outdoors means that damage or weather wearing will certainly happen again in the future. Storing the furniture during bad weather and putting statues in garden ‘nooks’ – away from bad wind or the brunt of bad weather (particularly to prevent accidental falls and breakages).