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Tips from the trade part 2...

Antique Furniture Restoration
How to remove heat marks form furniture

We get a ton of questions here at Vintage Home Stores asking for help with domestic furniture restoration jobs, in particular for Antique Wooden Furniture. So every month we will be compiling a quick help guide for the common questions we get asked so you can save them up and refer to them the next time you need some guidance.

How to remove heat marks from furniture

Firstly what are heat marks on wooden furniture? They represent moisture that is trapped between the wood and the items finish such as a lacquer as used in modern furniture. That's what you're dealing with, so as long as you know that you can see how the methods we use work and the thousands of stupid “hacks” as found on the internet wont.

We went to one of our customers studio’s the other week to help remove a few heat marks from some furniture they were photographing. When my lado got there he was given a jar of Mayonnaise. Being from Teesside we got a bit confused (hey doesn’t take much)… was this a southern thing and she was wanting him to make a sandwich before he started or was she being suggestive in which case he was worried as he never had a change of clothes! She went on to tell him it was to remove the heat mark as she read it online. When he did his magic the proper way she then said “I wondered how you did it as we have been rubbing mayonnaise on it for 6 hours and nothing happened!

We found a couple of videos which will be helpful - both are the simplest ones we could find and possibly the only ones where they don't use the word "guys" in every sentence.

Glorious Fire!

The first way we do it is oh so drastic and must only be attempted by someone who is confident and outside the home… erm if you haven’t done it before try it in the middle of a huge field on a scrap piece of furniture to stop you burning the house down!

Firstly clean the heat mark to remove any mayonnaise! Then get all your items ready as this is a quick process and you need to be ready. Go over the area with some mineral oil, this will protect the finish from the next part of the process. Lightly moisten a piece of cotton wool with methylated spirits and gently go over the heat mark (if its large do it a bit at a time). Secondly ignite with a lighter (told you it was a bit drastic!) and allow to go out (literally seconds because if you washed it in meths you now have a fire so get the extinguisher). What this does it dry the moisture in the wood and clears the ring park. Naturally when finished the whole piece will need waxing with some 0000 wire wool.

This is a professionals way to do it as there are so many risks involved ie burning yourself, the product or the house which is why it shouldn’t be attempted by a novice.

Tell the Mrs you're ironing

The second way to do it is effective plus a lot easier and safer. Again there is no mayonnaise involved or toothpaste or even baking soda for that matter! You just need an iron and a cloth so no need to buy anything extra.

Place a cloth over the area and run over it with a hot steam iron – best making the cloth quite thick to avoid damaging your area and don’t leave the iron on one area or you will just increase the size of the heat mark. Keep inspecting the area during the process.

Now when you go online there are a million and one things you can buy – we call them miracle cures. There isn't anything you can buy that's better than the 2 methods shown here, and these methods use items you will probably have in your home already. Restoring and fixing doesn’t have to be expensive, here at vintage home stores we try and make life affordable as there are so many other things you need to spend money on

Well I hope this helps and remember keep an eye on future posts where we will look at many different restoration techniques.



Vintage Home Stores is one of the leading suppliers of Vintage Furniture Antique Furniture and Quality Used Furniture to the UK markets. Our delivery is amongst the cheapest in the country and all items are in stock ready to go.

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