There are a number of things that we do not know about the furniture we use. There a number of small problems that crop up every now and then with the furniture that is regularly used. It would be simple if someone gave you a few ideas on small repairs that you can do yourself at home. Given below are a few tips on dealing with simple problems with furniture and answers to some common questions about furniture.
Be careful while buying wooden furniture. Furniture made of particleboard and medium density fiberboard is also called "solid wood". But furniture made out of these is not worth buying, as it is harder to repair and heavier than real wood. Buy furniture with signs that explicitly say solid oak wood or cherry wood or ash wood. These are safer to buy.
A number of times you want to know the kind of finish that has been used on your furniture. To find out you will have to do a solvent test. Dip cotton in some nail polish remover or acetone and rub over an area that is not easily visible. If the finish softens then the finish is nitrocellulose lacquer, which is the most popular finish in the furniture industry. If the finish softens with alcohol then the finish is shellac. If it does not soften with either acetone or alcohol then the finish is varnish, polyurethane, catalyzed lacquer etc. that cannot be dissolved by its original solvent.
If you are applying finish on your furniture then remember to account for humidity. High levels of humidity in the air will prevent the finish from drying and it will turn white or have a dull finish. If a professional is finishing your furniture then allow the piece to dry completely, for a few days before using it.
Placing any kind of potpourri directly on the furniture will damage the finish even though it is kept in cloth or plastic bag.
If metal bed frames are squeaking then just apply oil to the rivets and this will stop it from squeaking. If a bed made out of wood squeaks, it means it is getting loose and needs re-gluing.
In a drawer wood moves against wood and certain parts need to be lubricated. If drawers stick rub some paste wax on the drawer and the wood that it rides on. If this does not work then the drawer needs some repair or is very worn out.
Glass tabletops actually protect the wooden tables. Do not allow moisture get trapped between the glass and the wood. Raise the glass tabletop with rubber bumpers, this will allow airspace and let the wood breath.
Before using wooden screws rub a little candle or bee's wax or soap on the screw threads and it will move more smoothly.
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.