How to properly care for my vintage table?

I have a circa 1940s kitchen table, but I don't know how to care for it. Is there anything special I have to do to keep it beautiful? It has a metal top, with two leaves that tuck underneath the center portion, metal paper clip style legs, all built into hand carved wood mechanisms (which include a clever drawer for stashing flatware). How do I properly care for this delightful piece? Is there a particular method of washing I should observe, or should I put some sort of finish on it to preserve the paint? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
proper care of my vintage table, painted furniture
proper care of my vintage table, painted furniture
  3 answers
  • Lynne Lynne on Mar 29, 2013
    wow! so beautiful

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 30, 2013
    the paint is part of the charm and adding something of top would not really help much. with any painted metal surface you nned to avoid any kind of abrasive cleaner or scrubbing pad. I would think a simple "sponge or towel" would be fine. The trick is to also keep any type of debris from getting under items...Ie spilled salt or sand from a flower pot or such.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Apr 01, 2013
    KMS has great tips. I grew up with this type of table in my grandmother's house. Think place mats and trivets. Even some glass dishes can be abrasive. I would buy a couple of wooden cutting boards with a great finish to use. There were reasons grandmother used doilies...they did not have the protective surfaces we have today and they know things would ruin what they had. Every vase, photo, etc., sat on a doily.