Use natural beeswax to polish wooden surfaces rather than chemical cleaning fluids, which can damage surfaces. Dab sparingly on a lint-free cloth and rub in the direction of the grain.
Avoid using metal cleaners on brass mounts, such as handles and fittings, as they can ruin the surrounding wood. Instead, lightly polish with a long-term silver cloth.
Candle wax can be used to loosen stiff drawers or doors but if they’ve warped out of shape you’ll need to get them trimmed by a professional.
Caring for fabric
Vacuum upholstered antique furniture to protect against dust and pests. If the piece is covered in fine or loose fabric put a mesh stocking over the nozzle for extra protection.
Clean leather by mixing one part white vinegar with two parts linseed oil and then wipe down the leather. Leave to dry and then buff with a clean cloth. According to Value my Stuff – an online expert valuation service –15% of households have antique furniture worth over £500, and nearly one in five Britons owns a painting worth over £500. Do you have a cache of collectibles gathering dust in your loft? Find out.