Suggestions for Cleaning a Vintage Cabinet

rjingaFebruary 6, 2011

I want to give this cabinet a good cleaning without altering it's looks.

I have TSP but wasn't sure about how it would work on this type of old barnwood. Any suggestions?

I also have a few questions about the best way to square this cabinet up. It's slightly wobbly when you move it. I have not fully examined it to see what's loose. I do know that the top of the left door will need to be glued and clamped.

If you had to give me a beginners checklist on what to look for and what to do first to sturdy this cabinet up, that would be most helpful

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When you say "cleaning", what kind of dirt do you want to remove?

It looks like someone tried to make it less wobbly by putting two boards across the back, but that doesn't help much.

To "tighten it up", you will have to take it apart and clean and re-glue the joints, with proper clamping. If any bits are structurally unsound, gluing in bracing blocks will help.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 10:43AM
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TSP is VERY hard on wood.

It bleaches some types, and turns others nearly black.

Paint thinner is safer for the wood, but needs good ventilation since it is flammable.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 1:21PM
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I do not want to remove or damage or alter the crackle/aged effect of the painted wood. So, would paint thinner remove the paint?

I mainly want to remove surface dirt of the front of the cabinet, and maybe do something to preserve the look of the crackling paint (ie: clean it and put on a coat of poly)

I want to make this cabinet look better, fresher but without altering it's aged look and affecting it's resale value.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 7:15PM
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