Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Restoration - a matter of preference or preservation?

Silver Coffee Service
 I’ve seen lots of silver and silver plate at antique shops and flea markets lately that is darkly tarnished and unpolished. I enjoy the shabby chic look, and there is certainly beauty in allowing a vintage piece to be highlighted by leaving darkened areas within the pattern.

Lots of us are “aging” furniture and decorative items or collecting chippy, rusty home décor pieces; however, blackened silver is simply not attractive in my opinion. Not to mention that tarnish can eventually ruin the silver altogether. When allowed to tarnish to black, it takes a good quality polish and lots of elbow grease to turn this:
Into this:

Polished Silver Coffee Service
The best way to avoid tarnish is to use your silver regularly and wash it with mild dish detergent. Make sure to dry it completely with a soft dish towel. If you save your silver for special occasions, store it in one of the many commercial bags or boxes made to prevent tarnishing. You really don’t want to have to polish often – both because it is a LOT of work and because each time you polish you actually rub off a little of the silver. I highly recommend enjoying those lovely pieces. Have coffee with friends!

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