Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Taking Good Care of Wood Furniture

  • Shoe polish and felt tip pens work well in hiding small scratches in furniture. Shoe polish applicator bottles work well for furniture touch-ups, when filled with stain.
  • Color rings left on tables by cups and glasses by roughing slightly with an abrasive pad or paper and then rubbing with cigarette ashes mixed with cooking oil.
  • Have furniture deluxed (buffed and polished) by a professional once or twice a year.
  • Keep the finish rejuvenated by cleaning it with a mild soap (like you would wash your hands with) that has been diluted.
  • Avoid using a household cleaner that contains ammonia.
  • Polishing your furniture once a week with a quality polish will also help protect a finish from damage.
  • Be careful not to use a polish that contains silicone or alcohol. Alcohol is a basic ingredient in some strippers and if included in a polish can actually damage the finish.
  • To protect the finish of your dining room table, place a table pad on top of the table when it is not in use. Table pads are relatively inexpensive and can be ordered in any shape and size.
  • When serving plates and dishes that are hot, use a tablecloth.
  • Position furniture so that it isn't exposed to direct sunlight. Sun dries out wood.
  • To prevent water rings, always make coaster easily accessible. One of the best coasters to use is one made of wood that has felt underneath and an absorbent material to rest the glass on. Metal coasters tend to sweat onto the table, and the chemicals in a plastic coaster may react with the high-tech finishes used on today's furniture. It is also helpful if the coaster has a slight outer ridge to capture any condensation coming from the glass.
  • Water spots should be left to dry out completely. Then place regular mayonnaise, not sandwich spread, onto a soft cloth and rub it on the water mark. In most cases it will disappear.
  • When burning candles, use a large felt protector with a plastic top. Candle wax doesn't run as much when it hits plastic. If wax does drip onto a table, wait until the wax has cooled and hardened. Then apply an ice cube directly to the wax and give it time to make the wax hard and brittle. Take a plastic spatula and gently scrape off the cold wax. Then polish the table with a clean cloth and a good cream furniture polish. Buff away any remaining residue.
  • Minor scratches can often be disguised by using a scratch cover product. Just apply the product to a clean cloth and rub lightly over the scratch.
  • Make furniture polish by mixing lemon oil with 3 parts olive oil.

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