Most homes contain wooden surfaces, furniture, and objects finished in a variety of ways.
Although tough, wood is easily damaged. Polish protects wood but will build up over time. Antique wood needs special care.
Caring for Wood: Different types of wood vary in terms of hardness and color, but all can be damaged by dry air and exposure to sunlight. Position wooden furniture away from direct sunlight. Humidify rooms with houseplants and by concealing bowls of water nearby.
• Mahogany: To remove the bloom from mahogany, mix 1 tbsp (15 ml) each of linseed oil and turpentine in 4 cups (1.2 liters) of water, and wipe. Rub well, and polish.
• Ebony: To revive dull ebony, apply petroleum jelly, let sit for half an hour, and rub off.
• Other woods: Pine, beech, elm, and walnut need dusting regularly. Polish occasionally . with wax polish that matches the color of the wood. To keep oak in good condition, wipe occasionally with warm vinegar. Dry before polishing.
Applying Teak oil
Once or twice a year, rub teak furniture with a small amount of teak oil or cream, applied with fine steel wool. Buff well with a soft cloth. Dust regularly.
Oak Making Homemade Polish
Polish oak with a mixture of 2 cups (600 ml) beer, a small lump of melted beeswax, and 2 tsp (10 g) of sugar. Buff well with chamois leather when dry.
Making Beeswax Polish
Polish antique furniture with natural beeswax polish silicone polish gives antiques an unnatural sheen and is difficult to remove. Use the recipe below to make your own beeswax polish. Store it in a wide-necked jar so that you can dip a cloth into it. If the polish becomes hard, stand the jar in warm water.
Coarsely grate 2 oz (50 g) of natural beeswax. If the beeswax is loo hard to grate, warm it in a microwave on Low for several seconds.
Place the grated beeswax in a screw-top jar. Add 5 fl oz (150 ml) of turpentine (do not use turpentine substitute), then place the lid loosely on the jar.
Stand the jar in a bowl, and pour hot water in the bowl to melt the beeswax. Shake the jar gently so that the mixture forms a paste. Let cool.
Removing Marks From Wood
Wood is easily damaged by heat and scratching. Avoid placing hot objects directly onto wood – always use a trivet. Wipe up spills quickly. Check that ornaments do not have bases that could scratch a surface. If necessary, stick felt pads to their bases.
Mark Notes Treatment
Alcohol Stains: Alcohol damages polished wooden surfaces and leaves white marks. Spills should be blotted or wiped immediately; apply treatment as soon as you can. Rub the area vigorously with your usual polish. If this does not work, rub along the grain of the wood with cream metal polish on a oft cloth.
Minor Burns: Minor burns on solid wood can usually be repaired. On veneered surfaces, you may need to cut out the damage and insert a new piece of veneer. Rub with metal polish. If the wood is rough, scrape and sand the surface. Place wet blotting paper over the mark, and cover with plastic wrap. Leave overnight.
Serious Burns: These need more drastic treatment than light burns. Do not attempt to repair expensive pieces yourself; they require professional attention. Scrape out the burned wood with a sharp knife. Fill with matching wood filler. When dry, sand, then paint the area to match the color of the grain with artist’s paints.
Heat Marks: If hot dishes arc placed on wooden surfaces they can cause white marks to appear. Use trivets to protect wood from hot dishes and saucepans. Rub cream metal cleaner along the grain. Alternatively, apply a paste of vegetable oil and salt. Leave for a couple of hours, then apply polish.
Dents: Treat as soon as possible. Dented veneer may split, in which case you will have to cut out the damaged piece and replace it with a new one. Fill the hollow with warm water, and let it stand to swell the wood. Alternatively, cover with damp blotting paper, and apply a warm iron to the dent.
Scratches: These must be filled. You can buy scratch-disguising sticks in a variety of shades to match different woods. Alternatively, use the treatment at right. Rub with beeswax polish and a little linseed oil. Rub over the scratch, and buff well. Alternatively, use a colored wax crayon or suitable color of paste shoe polish.
Water Marks: Water marks wood and causes unvarnished wood to swell. Mop up as soon as possible, and allow the surface to dry before applying any treatment. Rub with cream metal polish along the grain of the wood, or mix a little cigarette ash with petroleum jelly and rub it over the marked area.
Grease Marks: Spilled grease will leave a permanent dark patch on wood unless treated quickly. Remove excess grease at once, using paper towels or a dish towel. Use straight vinegar to dissolve the grease, then wipe over the surface with a cloth wrung out with! a solution of equal parts vinegar and warm water.
Modern furniture is not always solid such as fixing sticking drawers and wobbly wood, but may consist of particleboard or legs, are relatively easy and do not take much plywood covered with veneer. Minor repairs, time. Major repairs require expert attention.
• Reviving dull polish: Use a mixture of 2 tbsp (30 ml) each of turpentine, white vinegar, and denatured alcohol, and 1 tbsp (15 ml) of linseed oil. Shake, and apply on a cloth.
• Surplus polish: Use vinegar and water to remove a polish buildup. Rub off at once. This also removes finger marks.
• Stuck paper: Moisten paper that is stuck to the wood with baby oil. Let stand for a few minutes, then roll paper off.
• Cane chairs: If the seat of a cane chair is sagging, saturate the seat with very hot water, then let it dry in the sun.
If a table is wobbly because one leg is shorter than the others, cut a piece of cork to the right depth and width. Attach the piece to the bottom of the leg with woodwork adhesive.
If a drawer does not slide in and out smoothly, rub the runners with soap or candle wax. If the drawer still sticks badly, rub the runners with fine sandpaper, and reapply the soap or candle wax.
Most homes contain a variety of wooden objects, such as ornaments, kitchen utensils, and musical instruments. These items need regular attention to prevent the wood from drying out and cracking. Keep wood out of direct sunlight, which may cause fading.
Caring For Kitchen Utensils
New utensils Soak new wooden utensils in cider vinegar overnight to prevent them from picking up food smells. Dry on paper towels.
Rub new wooden salad bowls with a little olive oil on a soft cloth. Do not clean with soap. Instead, rinse in warm water, and reapply olive oil when dry.
Old tableware: Restore stained tableware by rubbing along the grain with fine steel wool (wear gloves to protect your hands). Apply a little vegetable oil, and rub in well.
Seal splits in a cutting board (caused by the wood drying out) by covering it with a damp cloth for several hours. This will make the wood fibers swell.
Boxes Give ornamental wooden boxes a sheen and scent by rubbing them with lemon-balm leaves. Sandirfg wooden boxes lightly will bring back their natural scent.
Remove dust inside stringed instruments, such as guitars and violins, by pouring raw rice through the center. Shake gently, then pour the rice out.