People love furniture, furniture is simply wood and glue but still it is a really personal thing. Somehow, a little bit of the different people who have owned it and the craftsmen who throughout the years have been entrusted with the care of the item lives on in the piece. Furniture can last for hundreds of years. It can bridge time and carry forward a family legacy that otherwise would be lost. Sometimes the most well meaning people inadvertently cause, or allow unnecessary wear and damage to occur.
In this brief treatment we will lay out seven of some of the most common accidents and abuses that all too often people learn the hard way. Pay heed and you will be one of the wise ones who have learned from someone else's mistakes. 1. Some things need no explanation, and this is one. When a client arrives at our shop with a chair in the back seat of their car, a leg sticking up and visible through the rear window as we walk across the parking lot to take a look, it is painfully obvious from 50 feet away. Puppies! Yes Puppies, they are babies you know, baby dogs, and just like baby humans they teethe.
The question is not if they will teethe it is when, so be extra careful to keep puppy and furniture under surveillance during this toothy time. 2. Almost as sad as the puppy problem is Teen girls. Well not the girls really, but their nail polish, and especially that bad nail polish cohort, nail polish remover.
It happens, my phone rings, and on the other end of the line is an obviously terrified almost adult female asking for the magic potion that will replace the finish on the top of Moms beautiful cherry dining table before she gets home from the store. The nail polish remover stripped the finish off clean down to the wood in an area that is "not really that big". Don't do your nails on any finished, painted or stained furniture, oh yea don't think that if you put news paper down that that will somehow eliminate the problem, it will not. The newspaper will become glued to the top and that is no better. 3.
Hot melt glue is not your friend; as a matter of fact it's not really even glue. It is okay for arts and craft projects but not for furniture re-gluing so don't use it on any furniture item you don't wish to defile. 4. This one seems like a good idea at the time, but later you will discover an entirely new and better problem. I refer to metal mending plates, angle brackets and any other metal bridging device.
Wood is an active medium, meaning it expands and contracts with changes in humidity and metal does not. The differences in expansion will provide a practical example of hydraulic power as the metal restrains the wood's expansion till the wood pulls its self-apart. Don't use mending plates.
5. I love plants; my wife wins a beautification award almost every year for her gardening. But more furniture than one can count has been ruined or severely damaged when the plants get over watered and leak on the wooden tops of people's furniture. Use a plate or tray or consider a glass top for really well used surfaces then you won't have to worry about that. 6. Similar to the problem with plants is sun damage.
You probably wouldn't notice for a long time if there were no accessories on the top because it would fade evenly. The sun's ultraviolet light is a powerful force that absolutely will fade the finish color and break down the topcoat. Rotate accessories on a regular basis to eliminate having an outline of the item permanently burned into the top and limit direct sunlight as much as possible. 7. Finally here's one most people never think of till it is too late, don't overload your drawers and cabinets. Just because a certain amount of stuff will fit in a drawer, that doesn't mean the drawer will hold up under all that weight.
Drawers are for towels and sheets, shirts and pants. Keep the bowling balls and boat motors on the heavy-duty steel-shelving unit in the garage. That's it, the seven most common repairs and good advice on how to completely avoid the problems, Remember, love your furniture, and it will love you back long after you have gone on to that big mansion decorating project in the sky.
John VerHines is a seasoned restorer and the president of Gramco. With over 40 years of experience in the craft of furniture restoration. To learn more visit http://www.GramcoFurnitureRestoration.com Copyright Gramco furniture restoration LLC.