This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Rub down all the polished work with a very weak alcoholic solution of shellac (1 to 20 or even 1 to 30) and linseed oil, spread on a linen cloth. The rubbing should be firm and hard. Spots on the polished surface, made by alcohol, tinctures, water, etc., should be removed as far as possible and as soon as possible after they are made, by the use of boiled linseed oil. Afterwards they should be rubbed with the shellac and linseed oil solution on a soft linen rag. If the spots are due to acids go over them with a little dilute ammonia water. Ink spots may be removed with dilute or (if necessary) concentrated hydrochloric acid, following its use with dilute ammonia water. In extreme cases it may be necessary to use the scraper or sandpaper, or both.
Oak as a general thing is not polished, but has a matt surface which can be washed with water and soap. First all stains and spots should be gone over with a sponge or a soft brush and very weak ammonia water. The carved work should be freed of dust, etc., by the use of a stiff brush, and finally washed with dilute ammonia water. When dry it should be gone over very thinly and evenly with brunoline applied with a soft pencil. If it is desired to give an especially handsome finish, after the surface is entirely dry, give it a preliminary coat of brunoline and follow this on the day after with a second. Brunoline may be purchased of any dealer in paints. To make it, put 70 parts of linseed oil in a very capacious vessel (on account of the foam that ensues) and add to it 20 parts of powdered litharge, 20 parts of powdered minium, and 10 parts of lead acetate, also powdered. Boil until the oil is completely oxidized, stirring constantly. When completely oxidized the oil is no longer red, but is of a dark brown color. When it acquires this color, remove from the fire, and add 160 parts of turpentine oil, and stir well. This brunoline serves splendidly for polishing furniture or other polished wood.
Papier-maché and lacquered goods may be cleaned perfectly by rubbing thoroughly with a paste made of wheat flour and olive oil. Apply with a bit of soft flannel or old linen, rubbing hard; wipe off and polish by rubbing with an old silk handkerchief.
To clean an oil painting, take it out of its frame, lay a piece of cloth moistened with rain water on it, and leave it for a while to take up the dirt from the picture. Several applications may be required to secure a perfect result. Then wipe the picture very gently with a tuft of cotton wool damped with absolutely pure linseed oil. Gold frames may be cleaned with a freshly cut onion; they should be wiped with a soft sponge wet with rain water a few hours after the application of the onion, and finally wiped with a soft rag.
The unsightly marks made on a painted surface by striking matches on it can sometimes be removed by scrubbing with soapsuds and a stiff brush. To prevent match marks dip a bit of flannel in alboline (liquid vaseline), and with it go over the surface, rubbing it hard. A' second rubbing with a dry bit of flannel completes the job. A man may " strike " a match there all day, and neither get a light nor make a mark.