How to clean and care for antique wood furniture :

Wood is a porous, natural material comprised of natural fibres that can bend, stretch and breathe. The older wood becomes, the more these pores and fibres loosen, allowing for more opportunity for moisture and dirt to seep into its surfaces. When it comes to antique wood furniture, it is absolutely essential to minimize the damaging effects caused by dirt particles and moisture.

Depending on the type of finish of the wood (placed above the top layer of the wood, to stain or seal the wood), the piece of antique furniture may still soak up any used product or moisture coming in contact with the surface.

This is one of the main reasons why antique dealers will always suggest to using an oil-based solution instead of wax.

Wax can actually seal dirt into the wood while an oil-based solution helps in loosening the dirt and in bringing it to the surface for removal.

There are three basic points to run you through that will have you well on your way towards caring for your antique piece of furniture.

 

1. Removing the effect of moisture :

Once moisture enters the wood, not only does it weaken the fibres of the wood by softening them, it can also leave white spots on the surface of your furniture which tend to be unsightly. Depending on the severity of the damage these marks may be removed.

To do so begin by placing a heavy piece of office-grade ink blotting paper available at any stationery store over the affected area. Iron on a low heat over the affected area. This

will cause the excess moisture to be drawn into the blotting paper.

 

2. Removal of dirt :

 

Let’s begin by saying, nobody likes dirt.

Furniture that has been stored for many years will more often than not have lots of dirt and grime both on and within its surfaces. Removal of the dirt without scratching the delicate, aged wood is the secret here. A vacuum cleaner without any attachments on the hose can be used along with a paintbrush to take off large pieces of dirt without causing any damage.

After the first step you should apply a layer of furniture oil. Be generous in doing so. Apply evenly over all parts. Allow it to sit on the furniture for a while. Make sure when you apply the oil you do so in the same direction as the grain on the wood with the help of a soft paintbrush, once again to avoid damaging the furniture.

After a while, preferably overnight, use a clean old sock on your hand and gently massage the extra oil along the grain of the wood. Using a sock allows you to cover all areas well, including curved and carved areas.

Lastly use an old discarded t-shirt to remove all excess oil and grime. The process is time consuming but the results are positive. Just remember not to be in any sort of a rush when you do so. Pay attention to all the affected areas.

 

3. Removal of odor :

To remove any odor from wooden drawers or cabinets, traditional methods are best stuck to. Use a mix of coffee

grounds and rice solution. (sprinkle dry coffee grounds in the drawers and cabinets, after a while do the same with rice ) Let the mixture sit for about a week or so. Later just vacuum it all off.

Depending upon the strength of the smell, the process may need to be repeated. Stubborn odors such as tobacco or mildew, may need the use of lemon oil or orange oil on a regular basis but heck if it works its worth the time and effort.

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Creating The Perfect Outdoor Dining Experience

Summer is right around the corner (faster in some parts of the nation) and the time is nigh to begin planning for entertainment purposes outside on those late summer evenings when the weather is nice and cool. An outdoor dining area is the perfect place to host a small dinner party. If carried out perfectly you could be the toast of the town among your group of friends, which is what we are trying to achieve here. If you are interested in setting up the perfect outdoor dining experience, here are some pointers that will help you along your way to doing so.

 

1.  Make sure your furniture is well protected :

Most of us live in a part of the country where we have to deal with different types of weather. From a sudden searing hot day to an unforeseen relief shower, the weather is most unpredictable. Whatever it may be providing cover to your furniture is the best solution. Not only will it protect your furniture but also provide you with the opportunity to dine out throughout the year.

Provide for drapes as they not only add an extra layer of protection but also soften the structure on the eyes.

2. Provide adequate artificial lighting :

A light source near or above the dining area allows for the opportunity for an enjoyable soiree past sundown. Attractive options such as chandeliers are also easy on the eyes while also making your space more usable  as the early evening turns into night.

 

 

3. Selecting the perfect spot :

You need not necessarily have a large garden. It might take a little bit of thought and rearrangement, but there is always someplace available to create your perfect little dining area. It could be anywhere, from right in the middle to the back under a tree, the choice is yours as long as you get it right and set the mood for the occasion.

 

4. Consider your outdoor dining experience as a destination spot :

Your dining area sits in a park-like setting surrounded by bushes, trees and probably a pool. By placing it away from your home itself, it becomes a destination spot for guests. It creates the perfect atmosphere for people to just hang out.

 

5. Make your outdoor dining experience an extension of your home :

The outdoor dining area is the perfect opportunity to incorporate personal taste and style with furniture and accessories of your choice. Look for opportunities to incorporate art.

 

6. Provide for a heat source on colder days :

You will be able to provide for shade naturally on hot days if you have planned your setting well. It’s providing for cooler days that is important. A small fire pit or an artificial source that blends with the surrounding is the perfect solution to this. It gives you the opportunity to host cook-outs and barbeques.

 

7. Be bold, be brave :

There is no need to necessarily have a wooden dining table. Go for something different. Probably a stone based table with old rustic metallic furniture. The choice are boundless and add to the natural flow while being easy on the eye. Adding a fully stocked bar never hurts either.

 

After reading and employing the above stated points you should pretty much be on your way to setting up the perfect outdoor dining area. Remember : it is an extension of your home, an extension of you.