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Care of Your Carousel Figure
Care of your Carousel Horse You are the lucky owners of a Carousel Horse, maybe even luckier and own more than one (they do breed you know). Antique or Reproduction Carousel pieces all basically need the same for thought and care. Here are some suggestions to keep your Carousel pieces in the best of shape...
1. Determining where to place your Carousel piece...remember these are essentially pieces of painted art. You want to protect the paint so... . Best not to place in Direct Sunlight, this dries the paint and the wood, especially on the exposed side.
2. Do not place under or over a heat/ac vent or next to a heat source.
3. Do Not ever use furniture polish on a painted horse. Your Basic Cleaning should consist of a good dusting with a damp cloth or on of the new dusting cloths without polish. Some horses get extremely dirty and grimy from a house or restaurant with smokers , the nicotine does build up on the surface, or came in the house that way. You will test an area first, and wash with a gentle rag and tooth brush using a mild soap such as Murphy's oil soap. Then make sure to rinse him off to get all the soap off....you can even take him outside and hose him down. Horses that have many > splits and open seams you might not want to get this drastic. Scuff marks , black marks from shoes try Baby wipes, make sure to rinse the area after.
4.Real Horse tails....yes , you can brush them ( yes some hair might come out), and wash them....you might want to remove them from the horse. You can wash them with either a dry shampoo, or a regular shampoo and creme rinse in a bucket...then let fully dry out and brush.
5.Glass Eyes or Glass Jewels that are broken or scratched, lost their luster on older horses, try cleaning with a Q-tip with soap and water, if you need stronger, very carefully mineral spirits or lacquer thinner....BE VERY CAREFUL ! Still dull, put a thin layer of clear Nail Polish just over the glass eye, will hide scratches and look shiny. Not over Painted eyes.
6.Leather Reins and Stirrup leathers, do dry out and eventually rot, to delay this, clean gently with leather cleaner or Murphy Oil soap, then oil lightly with a leather conditioner.
7.Brass poles, use elbow grease…I mean Brass cleaner and some muscle!
8.Old Varnish...yes it does yellow with age! In especially old varnish that was exposed to outside sun and rains it may have dried out faster on the outside, showing lots of cracking and flaking. You can live with it, just watch that the paint is not so dry as to all flake off. Old Varnish can also be removed , without removing the paint...we just did this on the 6 animals of the Bonnet House Museum in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. You will then see the beautiful brilliant colors the originals were. (See the Giraffe as he arrived here, being washed at top of page.) We removed all the old varnish , repaired the animals, as best we could with paint in tack. Then matched and filed in the missing paint, and re-varnished . So you can get this done professionally. Another method is to clean the old varnish and apply another protective coat to re seal the animal.
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