Distressed Furniture. Help Bring my Cherrywood Back to Life!

You finally received that piece of cherry wood furniture you loved when you were growing up. Somehow it looks different than it did. It is darker than it used to be, but that’s to be expected with cherry wood. It seems dull and lifeless. There is no warmth to the table. It doesn’t look antique. It looks old. Wiping your hand across the top, you realize there is a film covering the top. The problem? Years of waxing have built up on your table and must be removed or the beauty of your table will remain hidden.

So how do you remove the build up without marring the finish underneath? Don’t let this list scare you. The steps are not nearly as difficult as they appear.

Don’t:
• Use any abrasive cleanser.
• Use an abrasive cloth or pad.
• Use a chemical.
• Use a wet cloth.

Do:
• Drop one bar of soap into a bucket containing one cup of warm water.
• Allow to soak for 10 minutes.
• Add five cups of hot water to the bucket.
• Using a microfiber cloth (nonabrasive), dip cloth into the mixture.
• Wring out until the microfiber cloth is barely damp.
• Scrub the table in a circular motion.
• Repeat until the shine of your cherry wood returns.
• Place three bags of plain tea in a clean bucket.
• Pour five cups of boiling water over them.
• Steep tea for at least 15 minutes.
• Discard the tea bags.
• Dip a microfiber cloth into the mixture. (Be sure tea solution is cool.)
• Wring out until the cloth is barely damp.
• Scrub the table in a circular motion. (The tannic acid in the tea will create further clean and shine your table.)
• Allow to dry for several hours.
• Rub mineral oil into the table and allow to dry over night.
• Buff to a shine with a clean microfiber cloth.

Antique cherry wood furniture can be restored to its natural beauty without the use of harsh chemicals. After you have removed years of built up wax, be sure to care for your piece properly to prevent this problem from reoccurring. Do not allow the wood to become dry. Be careful when dusting. Dust can be an abrasive agent to your wood. It is best to use a feather duster so you don’t grind dust into the wood. Nourish your wood just like you do your own skin.