Wooden toys are highly popular among children due to their ease of use and appearance. Some of them are made from rare kinds of wood and hence valuable. Because of this, many families carefully store such wooden toys for many years to either display as showpieces or for usage by children.
Toys made out of wood can last longer depending on the type of wood, specifically hardwoods. However, lack of maintenance can often cause them to wear down and eventually become unsuitable to use. Therefore, it is important to maintain such antique wooden toys if you wish to store it intact for many more years.
Preservation and restoration are the two techniques used to care for antique wooden items. Below are some tips that would help you in maintaining your antique wooden toys.
Using Preservation Methods
Preservation means to keep the toy intact without any sort of damages in both its interior and exterior. One of the common methods of preserving a wooden toy is to dust the surface of any dirt. For this purpose, a soft brush should be used and one that does not cause any marks or scrapes on the surface. Using a vacuum cleaner is also a preferred method for removing the dust from the toy.
Besides simply dusting, the other way to preserve a wooden toy is to clean it using a damp cloth. This will remove any deposits or stains on the surface and prevent further damage. However, you need to keep the wooden toy away from sunlight, as repeated exposure can result in the developing of cracks. Moreover, placing them in damp areas can also result in the wood to swell and become out of shape.
Using a mild amount of varnish, paint, or oils is also recommended to preserve the quality of the wood for many years. When storing, it is better to keep silica gel bags alongside the toy, as they will absorb moisture. This will also prevent any moisture build up in the toy and thereby prevent decay and damage.
Using Restoration Techniques
Over time, an antique wooden toy can become damaged. This can be as simple as a loss of paint or varnish in the broken parts. These affected areas can be restored by applying an additional coating of paint or varnish. It is also preferred to sand down the entire paint or varnish and freshly apply them to give the toy a new look.
For broken or cracked parts, it can be fixed by using glue or by purchasing replacements from a wood craft supplies store. If the wood is damaged, it is better to sand it and reapply the varnish and paint. Restoration also involves oiling the joints and replacing the strings used to pull the toy. The details in the toy can also be repainted in order to give the wooden toy a fresh appearance.