Use only soft, lint-free rags to remove dust. Two light waxings a year are recommended, either a hard or spray wax. Never use too much wax. Do not use water, soap, or household products to clean the table. Wood is a natural material, and is therefore vulnerable to physical damage. Dents, nicks, and scrapes can be caused by rough treatment (including but not limited to: scratching, gouging, using an abrasive, dripping hot wax, hot plates, dropping heavy objects, etc.) The finish can be damaged by heat and moisture, blot (never wipe) liquid spills up immediately, and never put warm, hot, or cold objects directly on the wood surface (we recommend always using a coaster or placemat). Heavy objects or accessories such as marble bowls or urns will damage wood furniture and should be moved after short periods of time. Demiurge New York does not warranty wood against damage or deterioration once it is in the client’s possession.
Wood is a porous natural material comprised of natural fibers that can bend, stretch and breathe. Our antique wood materials are often many centuries old, and cracking and splitting is inherent in solid wood due to environmental changes in temperature and humidity. This is considered a part of the natural beauty and character of antique wood, not a defect, and as such is not something we warranty against. Antique wood always carries with it the potential for woodworms. The problem with these wood borers is that they have very good taste in their chosen wood; therefore you may find them in prized walnut, and other fine woods. The older the piece of wood, the more evidence you are likely to see. These creatures can lay dormant and invisible for many years before becoming active again, so while we treat all wood regardless of whether it shows signs of woodworms, there is always the possibility that they may still be lying dormant. Part of the age and soul of antique wood are the wormholes that can come with those centuries of history. If you see evidence of active woodworms, fear not, they can be treated.
Though the characteristics of your antique wood may be rustic, that rusticity developed over hundreds of years. While water rings from a century ago have softened into a charming and aesthetic patina, new ones don’t usually look as nice. Rough use of the table may add to its patina, but please be advised that you will be responsible for any aging or mistreatment. There is no such thing as waterproofing wood to Atelier Demiurge finishing standards; it will always need to be protected from water. Writing directly on the table surface will transfer into the table finish. Use a pad, a clipboard, a placemat, or other protective surface to protect your tabletop. Heat from your laptop will damage or deteriorate your finish, just as a hot plate would. Always use a protective mat when using your computer at the dining table.
Lacquered and linen pieces have been stained and/or polished to bring depth and beauty to each finish. Although most are protected with either a clear coat or wax, they are still susceptible to wear. Care for your lacquered and linen pieces by dusting regularly with a soft cloth. Maintain lacquer by not placing near heaters and air conditioning units to prevent over-drying or exposure to excessive moisture. Avoid extreme humidity changes in your home, as extremely dry air can cause lacquer to lift. We recommend that stained or soiled linen or lacquer pieces be professionally cleaned or refinished.
Lucite is a clear durable acrylic material, which can develop scratches over time. When cleaning Lucite, do not use Windex or other regular home cleaners. The best way to clean Lucite is simply warm soapy water and a soft lint-free cloth, just be certain that the water is lukewarm and not hot, as hot water will cause Lucite to become cloudy. For periodic polishing, a suite of products called Novus 1-2-3 will remove and repair scratches. Novus 1 is meant as a cleanser, Novus 2 for polishing lighter scratches, and Novas 3 for deeper scratches.
Never use cleaners with alcohols or solvents on metals. Only used fine cotton or extra soft cloths. We recommend that tarnished metals be professionally cleaned.
Stainless steel is an extremely hard material, but it can be scratched. Contact with dirt, debris, jewelry etc. may result in scratches. When cleaning mirror polished stainless steel, it is especially important that cleaning tools and materials be completely non-abrasive. For regular cleaning, we recommend a chloride-free glass cleanser. Spray the cleanser onto a soft lint-free cloth, and gently rub on the on the stainless steel surface. For periodic polishing, we recommend using 3M Ultrafine SE polishing compound, applied in gentle circles with a lint-free cloth to remove hairline scratches and light scuffs.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, which tarnishes easily. Over time brass will oxidize and turn dark. Coating brass with lacquer will prevent the metal from oxidizing, but over time the lacquer decays and the brass will tarnish – necessitating stripping the lacquer and refinishing the top. For this reason we prefer unlacquered brass, which requires periodic polishing to keep it shining.
To polish brass, all that you need is a good commercial polish and a soft cloth (an old soft cotton t-shirt works well). If you’d like a natural solution – mix equal parts of salt and flour with white vinegar to make a paste. To polish your brass, simply apply your chosen brass polish to the cloth, and rub into the brass. Use a second clean, dry cloth to buff the brass to a dazzling shine. Most pieces will need polishing 3-4 times a year depending on the atmospheric conditions in your area.
Bronze is a copper alloy (combination of copper and tin) and when exposed to air and moisture, it will develop a patina. While this darkened finish does add character to the bronze, some consider it unsightly and would prefer their bronze to look clean.
To clean your bronze, you can utilize a commercial product, or make a polishing paste from baking soda and lemon juice. Rub your cleansing product onto the bronze item with small circular motions, and allow the cleansing product to stay on the item for 20-30 minutes. Rinse the item thoroughly with warm water to remove your cleansing product, and buff with a clean towel. This process, while relatively simple, takes time and patience as the patina can be quite stubborn.
Care for textiles by vacuuming or lightly brushing. Maintain textiles by keeping them away from direct sunlight. Rotate and flip cushions when vacuuming for even wear. The nap of high pile textiles such as mohairs and velvets may become crushed or lost its original pile height. We recommend light steaming to lift the pile to its original height. The textile should also be brushed with a de-linting brush to maintain its pile. Water based or solvent cleaner may cause discoloration or staining. We recommend that stained or soiled textiles be professionally cleaned.
A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment can be used to clean your rush seats for regular maintenance. Use a damp cloth or toothbrush to clean stubborn dirt. For thorough cleaning use a mild solution of soap and water. Please be gentle, too vigorous of brushing can lead to damage. Do not hose down or immerse in water.
Leather is a soft porous material that is sometimes uncoated and can easily absorb liquids and oily substances. Avoid saturating the leather with lotion or water for a long period of time. Care for leather by dusting and lightly vacuuming. Maintain leathers by keeping them away from direct sunlight and heating vents. Leathers are a natural, “living” material that breathe and move as they wear. We recommend that stained or soiled leathers be professionally cleaned.
Vellum is a natural parchment produced from calfskin, lambskin, or kidskin. As it is a skin, there exist naturally occurring variations in pattern, color, and texture, which may be noticeable in side by side panels. A clear coat of sealant is added to protect the vellum from normal use. Care for vellum by wiping gently with a damp to dry soft cloth, making sure that the skin is completely dried. Maintain vellum by keeping it away from direct sunlight and heating vents. Vellum is a natural, “living” material and breathes and moves as it wears. Vellum may also darken over time. We recommend that stained or soiled vellum be professionally cleaned.
As stone is a natural material, markings and color will vary. Stone tops are sealed or polished to be stain resistant. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the surface of many stones. Use placemats or felt spots under china, ceramics, silver, or any other objects that might scratch the surface. Clean stone surfaces with a soft cloth and a few drops of stone soap or a light detergent combined with warm water. Too much cleanser or soap may leave a film or cause streaks. Rinse the surface thoroughly after cleaning and dry with a soft cloth. For spills, blot with a soft cloth immediately to prevent the stain from being absorbed by the stone. Flush with water and mild soap and rinse well. Dry the area with a soft cloth. We recommend that a stone cleaner or refinisher professionally clean stained or soiled stone.
Glass and crystal can be cleaned by wiping with a soft damp cloth or glass cleaner with no additives. Apply glass cleaner to a soft cloth rather than directly on to the fixture to avoid overspray that may damage other finishes.
Some lighting shades are made form a thick, high quality watercolor paper or silk. Care for shade by dusting regularly with a soft cloth. Clean small dirt marks on watercolor paper using a white art eraser with a gentle touch.
For any product that is heavily damaged or excessively worn, seek professional assistance.