With proper care, glass display cabinets can last for several generations. Need proof? Take a look at our collection of vintage and reclaimed pieces. However, before purchasing a glass display case, you might identify if the cabinet you’ll have for years will suit your storage and display needs while its style will complement your home's decor. Regardless of the type of cabinet you choose: tall, petite, trophy, or wall-mounted, taking care of the piece is essential. We’ve rounded up some tips for buying and taking care of it to enjoy for years to come.
Benefits of Buying A Reclaimed or Vintage Glass Cabinet
Aside from the cost savings of buying a vintage or reclaimed display cabinet, it promotes environmental sustainability. Every piece of furniture that is re-purposed is diverted from a landfill. We highly recommend the following steps before purchasing a restored cabinet:
- Measure the space for the placement of the cabinet. Whether it is freestanding or mounted on the wall, make sure it properly fits the intended area.
- Consider options with wood and other materials that match your current decor and style.
How to Care For the Glass
One consideration is the type of glass used on the piece. The age or period from which the cabinet was produced could determine the type of glass used. Annealed glass, also known as plate or float glass, was the go-to before tempered glass was heavily regulated for safety in homes and furniture in the 60s and 70s. Today, restorers may opt to replace annealed glass on vintage pieces. If not, take care with cleaning annealed glass. If broken, annealed glass cracks into sharp shards, which can be very dangerous. Tempered glass is less likely to break, but if it does, it breaks into squarish pebbles rather than dangerous shards. Definitely ask the restorer if you are concerned with small children running and bumping into the piece or an active household that doesn’t do well with fragile pieces.
Having glass is not as challenging to keep clean as some might think. Regular light dusting and cleaning to remove prints and debris is all it takes to maintain.
How to Care For The Wood
We highly recommend using natural furniture oil/wax to polish and protect the wood on all reclaimed wood pieces. One way to remember which type of wax or oil will work is: use vegetable-based oils for non-animal products and animal-based oils for non-vegan products.
- Regular dusting with a soft cloth and wipe any spillages as they occur.
- Avoid excessive exposure to direct sunlight to avoid discolouration.
Tips for Customizing A Glass Cabinet
Sometimes a reclaimed glass cabinet is missing that particular something that would make it a perfect fit for your living space. While much care is taken by restorers to reclaim a cabinet, small touches are easy to do to customize the piece to suit your taste. Rather than searching endlessly, consider some minor enhancements. That way, you can save on your purchase and end up with something that perfectly matches your style and needs.
- Apply a film to the glass panes for a decorative look. The vinyl film also provides some shade from UV rays to the objects being displayed. There are so many options for a vinyl film, from frosted to a stained glass look, to complement your decor.
- Update the hardware: knobs, pulls, and locks are easy to replace and a great way to give your cabinet a new lease on life. New hardware can match your current style or stick to the period of the piece. The options are endless.
- Add LED lighting under the shelving to light up the interior of the cabinet to really highlight your collectables.
Check out our curated selection of vintage and reclaimed glass display cabinets for a unique piece with stunning style.