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I have an old wooden clock (about 150 years) that is very dried out.  It was painted black and the paint still looks pretty good, but I can tell it is very dry.

Can I put some kind of oil on it, like olive oil or mineral oil to make it look more new?

If not, what do you suggest?


Hi Julie, you want to stay away from applying any non drying oils (olive oil, Mayo, mineral oil, etc) on a piece of furniture....paste wax is probably the best choice, but only if the painted surface is in good, tight condition, not flaking, peeling etc.You could also apply a coat of Tung oil finish,(Waterlox, Formby's, etc) which is a drying or "long" oil that will cure. Environment is responsible for drying out such a piece, usually over a long lifetime, as furniture needs an environment with a little humidity. With all our heating methods, furniture can easily be cooked dry, and it's difficult if not impossible to reverse the damage. One cannot "feed the wood" through a finish either, something that a few manufacturers have claimed for their products....please feel free to post back- regards- Greg


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Greg Scholl


Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects,Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings,wood species recognition,usage,etc.


Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Sold, built, serviced, setup Home,Industrial and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools, and offered instruction on use and care as well.I even have some Trade show Demo experience.

none at this time.

Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002)-("27 year compilation of expert know-how"),Multiple times in Family Handyman Magazine, local newspapers as well.

Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars by Major tool manufacturers, Delta, Powermatic, Performax, Porter Cable, Skil/Bosch to name a few.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT.(the Antiques capital of CT.)
Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies.For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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