FFf Eclectic Red Barn: Preserving shabby wooden treasures!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Preserving shabby wooden treasures!

Now I love my shabby looking treasures. Worn and chippy are fabulous. We especially love old and vintage tools. My husband and I both flock to these when out hunting.  Many of the pieces I have are tools that belonged to my grand parents and my Dad. I love them in displays and have them scattered throughout the house. However, I do like to keep them that way.
It may be only in hot and humid climates like here in Florida, but wood can dry out easily and if neglected too long, they will crack. (Especially pieces that I use outdoors.) Now this might be a good thing, but not for vintage tools. At least that's my opinion. Here are two tools that could use some TLC.
Eclectic Red Barn: Pulley and level before being oiled

 I love old pulleys and have collected many of these.
Eclectic Red Barn: Pulley before being oiled
Levels are more my husbands area although I love the patina on this one. 
Eclectic Red Barn:Level before being oiled

Although I love their current look, periodically I refresh them. You could use some expensive oil rubs and they work well, but I like to use something that is in everyone's kitchen - vegetable oil! Yes, now don't think I am crazy. It works.
Eclectic Red Barn:Crisco vegetable oil
It doesn't matter what kind or what brand. Pour a little in a small dish, moisten your rag in the oil. You don't need much. Apply to the piece. Here is the pulley half oiled.
Eclectic Red Barn: Pulley half oiled
And here is the level with half of it oiled.
Eclectic Red Barn: Level half oiled
Notice how the oil brings out the wood grain in both pieces. The cherry in the level is really shinning through.

Here is the before and after of the pulley.
Eclectic Red Barn: Pulley before being oiledEclectic Red Barn: Pulley after being oiled

Here is the before and after of the level.
Eclectic Red Barn:Level before being oiled Eclectic Red Barn:Level after being oiled
This shows both the pulley and the level before and after being oiled.
Eclectic Red Barn:Level and pulley after being oiled

The great part of using vegetable oil is that it doesn't harm the finish. All the nicks and scratches are still there, just the grain seems to pop. They will NOT feel "greasy" The wood soaks up the oil and you would never know you applied vegetable oil

Now I don't advise using vegetable oil on furniture, since you may have critters like ants that would enjoy the oil. Mostly I use it on old tools. Even ones that have wooden handles, like garden tools. I just preserves the wood. 

 Hope you enjoyed this wood preserving tip!
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  1. Hi. I will show my husband this, it's really useful thank you! : )

    Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

  2. Well, isn't that interesting. I've always been told that the buggy type critters would be drawn to things rubbed with vegetable oil and that we should use mineral oil. Always good to hear another opinion.

  3. what a great idea and what a difference that made

  4. I used olive oil for this, and loved getting the oil all over my hands too... Thank you for reminding me. I should give my wood a bit of a make-over again soon!

  5. Wow, what a difference. I collect old tools too :)

  6. I used this on my oak cabinets and it works great..no trouble with ants either!


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