Moving And Packing Tips - How To Properly Prepare And Pack An Antique Table

Posted on: 16 July 2015


If you and your family need to move from one home to another in a short period of time, then it may be in your best interest to hire both professional movers and packers from a company like Bekins Van Lines Inc so you can get everything done in a hurry. Not only will this reduce your stress, but this will leave you with the opportunity to pack more delicate items yourself. If you have an antique table, then this is certainly one item that needs care in regards to packing and moving. If you have no idea what needs to be done to keep the table from becoming damaged during the moving process, then keep reading to find out about a few important packing tips.

Clean Before Packing

If you are lax about dusting, then your antique table likely has a great deal of dust and debris covering it. The vast majority of dust in your home is made out of sand, pet dander, insect feces, soil particles, and powdery materials used in the kitchen, like flour. Some of the dust, like the parts made from flour or dander may be soft and smooth, but others, like the soil bits and sand may be sharper around the edges. If sharp dust particles are left on the surface of the table and packing materials are placed on top, the surface may then become marred. Damage will be added to the alligator or craze lines that are noted along the lacquer finish. If the furniture piece is covered with shellac, then scratches and gouges can form in the finish, and chips may be noted in dried out furniture items with an oil finish.

Dusting and Waxing

To prepare the antique table for packing, lightly dust it with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner or use a clean cotton cloth to wipe dust away. Afterwards, wax the furniture item. Waxing will help to form a protective barrier across the surface of the varnish, oil, or lacquer. This will help the piece resist damage due to friction and debris during the move. Purchase a paste wax product for your antique table. Make sure the wax is made from beeswax and contains few oils. Try to stay away from petroleum distillates and silicone products, because they contain oils that can seep into the furniture item and damage the wood. 

Once you purchase the right wax, remove a large glob from the container and place it in the middle of a piece of cheesecloth. Gather the edges of the cloth around the wax to create a ball. Gently rub the cloth across the surface of the furniture piece. Use circular motions and continue to wax until you see a slick and shiny surface across the wood.

Wrap the Entire Piece

In some cases it is wise to remove the legs or arms from a piece of furniture so damage does not occur. This is not a good option when it comes to an antique table. Older pieces of furniture were often constructed with either dovetail or dowel joints that kept the legs secured to the table, and these joints are permanent. There are no pieces of hardware to remove so you can disassemble the table. This means leaving the piece intact and using materials to cushion the parts of the table. This can be done with pieces of soft material made from cotton. Polar fleece blankets or cloths are a great option due to their soft and thick quality, and the material will also breathe. This will allow the antique table to remain dry during the packing and moving process, even if the moving truck or your home is humid.

Wrap the table legs and the top of the table tightly with the fabric and secure duct tape or packing tape in strips over it to keep the material in place. Rubber bands are a good option for table legs too, if the blanket unravels. At this point, you can move the table or find a box to secure it in. Closed crates that can completely enclose the table in wood may work well. Just make sure to surround the table with packing peanuts or foam after placing it in the crate to reduce damage concerns.