For a deep shine, apply a second coat of wax in the same manner. To maintain waxed furniture, dust with a lamb’s-wool duster. Never use liquid or aerosol furniture polishes because they can dissolve the wax and leave a hazy film. To revive grimy wood furniture, mix equal parts olive oil, denatured alcohol, gum turpentine, and strained lemon juice. Caylin Harris is a freelance writer, stylist, and crafter with over a decade of experience in the media industry. She is a regular contributor to magazines like Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle, Rachael Ray Every Day, Good Housekeeping, and Parents.
Some materials—like wood—require annual maintenance to keep them looking good, while others can weather the elements for years without any upkeep. Many people daydream of backyard barbecues, summer brunches, and other social gatherings with friends. So it’s essential to decide on how many people you’d like to regularly host . Our editor-in-chief notes he can easily fit four kids on a bench, whereas regular chairs would be more limiting. The trade-off is the loss of back support of a traditional chair—an omission some guests might notice. But remember, you can always mix and match—interspersing chairs at the ends or on one side of a long table and adding a bench to the other. If you are certain of your wood furniture finish—paint, stain, or some other treatment—then use a cleaning method appropriate for that specific wood finish.
But the majority of painted wood or finished wood furniture will be able to handle these wipes. Because every finish, stain, and type of wood is different, it’s hard to have a one-size-fits-all approach to cleaning wooden furniture.
Remove the Finish
Even without the risk of mildew, wood furniture can warp, swell or split when it’s exposed to moisture. A handful of odds and ends like an unused dining set or your grandmother’s antique bedside table may not be worth the monthly fees required to rent a storage unit. Keeping them somewhere out of the way around your home is a smart move. You’ll continue to rack up fees the longer you keep your furniture in storage, so it may benefit you financially to come up with a long-term plan for your pieces.
However, a good rule of thumb is to start with the mildest cleaning solutions, progressing to stronger methods if needed. To apply wipe-on finish, first put some on a clean rag. Apply it in a swirling motion like you would with car wax. Then wipe off excess finish, going in the direction of the grain. Let the finish dry overnight and you’ll be ready to proudly display your furniture restoration project. Before you start any repairs or touch-up on your furniture refinishing, wipe on mineral spirits to help you decide what your next steps should be.
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Once the screws are out, remove the braces from the legs.You may also need to unscrew the legs from the table. Gently twist them to the left until they come loose easily. Remove the seat back and wheels to break down a desk chair. Turn the knob on the bottom of the seat to the left until it is loose enough to remove.
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