FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS: After extensive restoration work on my Music Room (we jacked-up the wing), its two sets of Victorian pocket doors are now functional. The bad news? The first time I closed the doors, I discovered — to my utter horror — that the ancient mahogany panels were badly caked with mildew. Here’s how I dealt with this fungal-issue and returned the doors to a state of lustrous beauty — for less than $20.
Mineral spirits, or paint-thinner, is generally safe to use on antiques. It will not harm the finish. Not in my experience, anyway.
After saturating the cloth, I squeezed it out with all my might until it was just barely damp.
What to do?
If I do say so myself.
Hence my next dilemma — how to return the doors to the lustrous condition they enjoyed in 1850?
Now, the frames, unlike the doors themselves, are not made of mahogany. They are made of a cheaper wood, faux-finished to look like mahogany.
How to cover the dings and dents without painting over the faux finish?
I don’t know if you will ever have to deal with old wood that has developed a mildew-issue. But should the day arise, maybe the treatments I’ve described for my pocket doors and frames will prove of some value to you. The entire procedure — for the room-side of the doors, anyway — took not more than one hour to accomplish. And the total cost? Less than $20. The potential expense for what a contractor recommended — and that was to remove the doors and have them refinished off-site — makes me shudder.
Any cleaning-painting-staining projects on your horizon? Talk to me in the comments field below. As always, I love to hear from you.
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