Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How to Shop for Antique Wooden Furniture


Many people love shopping and buying new things, but some turn it into more of a hobby than others. There's a lot more to shopping than simply going out and browsing, then choosing something you like and taking it home. One particular type of shopping where there's a lot to learn is antiques. If you're interested in antique items, whether it's furniture or jewelry, you need to learn your stuff. If you don't, you could end up paying a lot for something that isn't worth the price. Even worse, you could buy something that's fake or that falls apart in two seconds. One thing that's very popular among antique hunters is wooden furniture. People love the sturdy, handmade items you can find from different eras. But if you want to try and find some great pieces for your home, or maybe even start trading antiques, you need to learn what to look for. Try these tips to make sure you get a quality item every time and don't end up throwing money away.

Where to Buy?

There are lots of places you can look for antique furniture, from auctions to online stores. The methods you choose to shop for the items you want might depend on what's available in your local area. You can look for antique shops and auction houses, where you should be able to see the items you're interested in more closely. Like almost everything nowadays, you can shop for antique furniture on the internet. However, you aren't able to see it for yourself most of the time, and you must rely on the description given by the seller. You might also be able to buy some things privately and in person, using a combination of online methods, local ads and visits to people in your local area.

Checking Condition

Just because antique furniture is old, it doesn't mean that it should be falling to pieces. In fact, wooden furniture should last a long time because, before the age of the flatpack, it was always made very well. Of course, there might be some signs of wear and tear, but it's best if you can easily fix them or if they don't affect the overall look too much. You don't want to purchase furniture that looks like someone has destroyed it. It should need minimal repairs and touch-ups, and not a complete restoration.

One of the important things to check for is that the parts that hold it all together are in good working order. For example, drawers should slide in and out easily, and frames should be reliable and stable. Of course, the rest of the item could be in good condition too. But if you buy upholstered furniture, for example, you can reupholster a chair with a good frame more easily than you can repair the structure itself. However, remember that reupholstering isn't something that you can do in two seconds and that it takes time and money.

When you can look at a piece of furniture in person, it's not too hard to survey it for damage, especially if you look closely. But if you're buying online, you'll have to rely on photos and asking the seller questions. Usually people are honest with their answers, so don't hesitate to ask any queries you might have. Remember that although you want the piece to be in good condition, it doesn't have to be perfect. Don't be scared of a few scratches or other faults that you can patch up or gloss over.

Finding a Bargain

As a general rule, antique furniture doesn't come cheap. Antique wooden furniture was built to last a long time, which is why it's still around now. So you can't expect to pay pennies and get something that's good quality. But you can still find things that are less expensive and save yourself money using several methods. Firstly, there's no need to look for recognizable names or labels. Although these might be a good indicator of quality materials and workmanship, it doesn't mean that other items are inferior. And it might be nice to have the bragging rights of having something by a famous manufacturer, but will it make a huge difference to how much you like it?

Once you've come to terms with the fact that the items you buy don't have to be in perfect condition, you can use it to your advantage. If you need to patch some things up, whether by polishing, painting or varnishing, you'll have to spend a bit extra. So it's only fair that you try to bargain on the cost of the item you want to leave room in your budget for repairs. Antique shopping is excellent practice for your haggling skills. Don't be shy about trying your luck; the worst that can happen is that the seller refuses to budge.


Caring for Your Furniture

When you're the happy new owner of a piece of wooden antique furniture, it's time to get it home and start looking after it. The first thing you need to do is transport it. You can take it back yourself if it's small enough or your vehicle is large enough. But looking for antique movers in Chicago or your hometown could be a better idea. They will know how to care for your furniture properly during transit and will make sure it doesn't sustain any damage.

At home, you might want to patch it up. Do some research on the particular wood and any other materials before making any fixes. You might wish to use gloss or varnish and even sand it down to paint or polish. If you're scared to do it yourself, you could also have an expert help you out. But it's likely that you can fix any problems with a few simple solutions. You'll soon have some furniture that looks like an antique, but doesn't appear to be old and tired.

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