The secret to keeping valued ornaments in tip-top shape is cleaning and repairing them properly. Use a dry (never wet) cloth to polish imperfections. A small, dry makeup brush or paintbrush lets you remove dust and debris from hard-to-reach places. For minor repairs, use Elmer's Glue -- it can be quickly wiped away if you make a mistake. Severe repairs may require stronger adhesives such as hot glue or Magna-Tac. Wooden eye-color brush, muji.us.
Acid-free tissue paper is perfect for storing all ornaments because it's free of chemicals and dyes, which can damage delicate pieces. Acid-free tissue sheets, containerstore.com.
Run out of tissue? Use plain white linen sheets or dish towels instead (they are also free of chemicals and dyes). Plus, they'll add a little extra padding.
A few mistakes could turn your treasures into trash. Here's how to avoid damaging delicate pieces.
If your favorite ornament is chipped or scratched, don't try to fix the paint yourself. Most are made with will be nearly impossible to match, so it's better to live with the imperfection.
Vintage ornaments' enemies are moisture and light. Humidity can damage fragile material, and light will strip the original color. Avoid the basement and attic, since those areas have the most extreme changes in humidity and temperature. Instead, keep items in a closet or under a bed.
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