Some of my older silver case pieces have wooden handles on them. There's lots of good advice in this forum for cleaning and protecting silver, but what about the wood handles they are attached to? Some of my wood handles are looking rather dried out or have spots of whitish (mould?) So what's the best way to clean and protect the wood handles? Murphy's oil-soap? Lemon oil? Mineral oil? Bees wax? Does anyone have any good advice?
White spots are often due to the glossy film that is detached from the underlying wood. In this case it is not enough oil, butter or other fat product, you must first remove the film detached. You can do this with products suitable for stripping. The treatment, however, must be adapted to the type of wood. Ebony and walnut, for example, need to be treated differently. A picture would help Regards Amena
Here's some sample pictures. First pic has some sort of varnish on it, so condition isn't bad, and I don't think I need to strip it. But the next two are from a pre-1900 Gorham coffee/tea set that seem to have no finish on the finials and handles, and need more care. How about cleaning with oil-soap, and then rubbing in olive oil? (Butter scares me - I guess because I've smelled rotten butter). What do you think?
It is not clear, from the photos, whether the gray matter it is detached paint or some other material deposited. However the wooden parts of the Gorham set need to be cleaned. You have to rub gently with very fine steel wool until all the gray matter is removed, then use a fat matter for finishing. The furniture wax is the best and most lasting. Best regards. Amena
Dear Jag, I just found and joined this site tonight. I was looking for a way to remove lacquer. In searching around the site found this post from you and am impressed with how well your wood handles turned out. What a lovely Tea set when you finished. I will be polishing up all of our display silver soon as we are having our wedding with many out of town and foreign guests coming for the festivities, so of course the silver has to look good, Keep on polishing, Michael
Nice job cleaning it up, it looks a whole lot better! I find that a lot of older wooden pieces just look dirty. We have an old boat that looks this way, but hopefully when we've reworked it will look fantastic.
The technique I use is: I clean the piece with hand sanitizer. If this doesn't work, I use 0000 steel wool (nothing harsher), then apply Renaissance wax, let sit for 10 minutes, then buff with a cotton ball or paper towel. Do not use oils because they will attract dirt and may change color over time.