FURNITURE CARE

 

 

You have just gotten a table at the antique shop. Now you are wondering how best to get it home and take care of it. Most accidents happen in moving furniture. Whether it’s from one room to another or across the state, any time you move furniture an accident can happen. Here are a few tips on furniture care that can help avoid costly repair bills.

When you put it in your vehicle you’ll need some furniture pads. Take a few blankets to wrap around the table and a couple of old pairs of knee socks. Last but not least, if your table is a drop leaf, some worn out panty hose. Use the knee socks to put on the legs. Just slide them on the legs and put a rubber band at the top. Panty hose are soft nylon and won’t scratch the finish. The panty hose can be tied across the top and around the leafs to keep them from flopping. Most of the time it’s better if you have help moving even a simple table. If your husband is going to help you ask him to please move his belt buckle to the side. A lot of scratches are caused by a belt buckle rubbing against the piece you are moving. Now pick the table up but not by the top. Place your hands under the aprons. Those are the pieces of wood just under the top that connects to the legs. This way there is no strain on the screws that hold the top on. Often these screws have been taken in and out so many times they are just barely holding the top on.

Always plan the route you’ll take through the house from room to room. If a doorway is too narrow, you’ll have to retrace your steps. There is more of a chance of bumping into something and damaging the furniture when you retrace your steps unnecessarily.

You now have it set in the spot you had in mind. It’s a great accent for the room. But have you thought about how much the sun will shine on the table in that room? What does sun light have to do with the care of furniture? Sunlight can strip the finish off the wood, bleach the color out of the wood, and in the worse case etch the surface of the wood. If your furniture sets in strong sunlight several hours a day it will have an adverse effect on it. A simple solution is to put UV filter film on the windows. Cut it to the size of the glass, peal the backing off, and place it on the glass. It will stop the UV but will not noticeably reduce the light in the room. UV filter film is made by 3M Company. Look in the yellow pages for a dealer near you.

Just one more thing for that lovely little table. To make it smile, use paste wax. Not only will the paste wax bring a good shine to the surface, the wax on top of the finish of the wood will keep dust from clinging to the surface. That will make it much easier to keep clean. Dust weekly and about once a year rewax. After a few years if the wax looks cloudy on the surface, remove the old wax with mineral spirits( it’s odorless) on a cloth and then rewax. When you apply the wax, do it with the grain of the wood. Let it dry for 5 to 10 minutes and buff with an old T-shirt. Avoid spray-on furniture polish.It contains silicon oil to make the surface slick. Once the surface has been contaminated with this, it may be impossible in the future to reapply a traditional finish.

There is no need to feed the wood with furniture oils. A lowboy will never grow up to be a highboy. What has dried out of the wood beside the free water are esters and ketones not oils in the wood. These products have only a very small percentage of the advertised oil. Mineral spirits is the main ingredient. The oil that is left on the surface is slow to dry and will attract dust as it dries. When you are going out of town for several weeks or on vacation for a month cover the furniture with old bed sheets. This will keep the dust off while you’re gone.

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