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Thread: I need some help with wooden (driftwood) furniture care

  1. #1

    I need some help with wooden (driftwood) furniture care

    I acquired today the bench pictured in the attachment. It is made of driftwood and comes from Malaysia (I think, it might be Philippines instead). It has a lot of curves and crevices, and the inside of some is rough. It also has a few cracks, thankfully in places that do not compromise its structural integrity. It has has been stored for a while and as a result it has some muck (will clean after I brush and hoover it). I plan to (very lightly and carefully) smoothen up some of the surfaces inside some of the crevices with a dremel so the splinters and loose parts that exist will go and the said areas will look better. Thought it is prudent I clear it up properly and then treat it with some sort of oil or varnish. the question is which product should I use? Any help and advice is most welcome. Thank you in advance


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  2. #2
    I'd be inclined to use a water-based varnish on it once you're done cleaning it
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsmoke View Post
    I'd be inclined to use a water-based varnish on it once you're done cleaning it
    Many thanks for that. Any specific recommendations? Please can you explain why water based is best? I was under the impression that oil based stuff is best so it seals the wood and protects it.

  4. #4
    in my limited experience use beeswax ,its hard graft to apply but its been 1st choice for a 1000 years or 2 for most french polishing type furniture peeps .and it shines and protects at the same time.if your like me and lose interest doing wax on,wax off them 20 quid car buffer machines take all the hard work away atb

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tozzybum View Post
    in my limited experience use beeswax ,its hard graft to apply but its been 1st choice for a 1000 years or 2 for most french polishing type furniture peeps .and it shines and protects at the same time.if your like me and lose interest doing wax on,wax off them 20 quid car buffer machines take all the hard work away atb
    Thanks for that. The problem is access to the areas I need to treat. Some are really small, and only something that can be applied by a small brush can reach them, hence I thought a varnish of some sort that I can apply using a brush will be my best bet...

  6. #6
    having lived in Asia, ,,,singapore , Thailand and Malaysia, i have had a few pieces like this and whatever you do DO NOT seal it with varnish use an oil or wax finish as these pieces are never seasoned properly and have a high moisture content, which is great in Asia, then you come along bring it to UK and put it in your nice centrally heated , moisture controlled house, if you dont feed the wood with either oil or wax based treatment it will dry out and be ruined,sanding it and smoothing all the little crevices is no problem, if it was me i would then treat it with an oil based finish, it will probably need treated about once a month, nd should last a long time, and dont sit it next to a radiator or fire

    best of luck with a lovely piece of original furniture

  7. #7
    Hi

    You may want to investigate Danish Oil and its uses -- water resistant, soaks in, protective and a non-shiney finish. A couple of coats will treat it for a long time and easily redone when necessary
    Small crevices can be got at with aon old clean tooth-brush.

    L

  8. #8
    As above - do not seal with varnish.

    Danish oil is good but I was recently advised to switch to Osmo Polyx Hard Wax Oil (available on fleabay) which lasts longer.

    This stuff is superb.
    Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it, hump it or learn from it then piss on it and walk away.

    "HOSPITALITY" - the art of making guests feel at home (when you wish they were).



  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyxologos View Post
    why water based is best?
    No particularly-scientific reason I've just always found it to be easy to apply, non-yellowing, fast drying, cheap and really effective. And it doesn't leave an odour. There are probably a hundred different methods that would be as good, if not better though. That's just what I would use myself because I've had good experiences with it
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  10. #10
    The times I have used water based varnish I have found it to be seriously lacking. It doesn't soak in or penetrate, just sits on the surface and dries. It then flakes off leaving an unprotected surface. If using a varnish then use a very slow drying polyurethane, But personally I would use an oil of some sort. I would also seek out a specialist supplier and ask them.

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