Category Archives: Furniture

How to Remove White Stains from Wood Furniture

How to Remove White Stains from Wood Furniture

Picture this, you are at a friend’s place, helping him or her set the table for dinner. You are handed a hot, steaming pot of soup or gravy and you set it down, unthinkingly on the elegant wooden dinner table, without a coaster or place-mat. Either your folly is noticed immediately or after the dinner is over and the dishes are being removed. The proof of your misdeed is a big, white spot marring the table’s surface. It can happen with that expensive coffee table, you got as a gift or an old favorite chest of drawers, that has seen one too many days. Never mind the hows and the whys, there is a white spot on your wooden furniture piece, how does one get rid of it?

White stains can be rings, vague circles or cloud-like large spots or stains. They can be raised or flat and appear as if a film or layer has been painted onto the surface of the wood. Such stains should not be confused with watermarks, which are transparent and slightly raised. White spots or stains are caused by keeping hot vessels or objects on the furniture’s surface. Wait a minute, isn’t that what furniture is for? Keeping things on? Yes but treated and polished wood and various types of furniture finishes, are delicate and very sensitive to heat.

Here’s what might happen – the chemicals used on furniture react to the increase in temperature and compounds are formed or chemical reactions take place, that oxidize or burn the wood. The obvious change in color is a visible indicator of such a reaction. Keeping hot pans, cookery, plates, glasses, mugs or food containers, even take out cartons and pizza boxes on a wooden surface will cause these unsightly marks to appear. Laying a tablecloth or covering the surface with a towel or cloth can prevent a stain from occurring but depending on the furniture’s surface and the heat of the object, results may vary.

Even keeping a moist glass or beverage holder can cause a white watermark. Such stains are also called steam stains, as the steam from a hot object causes a chemical reaction. Of all the forms of wooden furniture care, removing wood furniture stains which are white and cloudy in appearance, is a puzzler but fret not. Below are some helpful tips and tricks to removing such spots.

Removing White Stains from Wood Furniture

Before going any further, keep in mind that the success of a white stain eradicating operation is dependent on the wood used in the furniture, the finishing, polishing or treatment used, how long the hot object was kept on the furniture and the extent of the burn. That being said, the following methods are all suggestions and home remedies to avoid the alternative of refinishing. With rubbing materials and mixes, try the mix on a small, non-visible or hidden area of the furniture to avoid creating a new stain.

I. Spread a cotton towel or T-shirt over the white spot or sports. Do not use a thick towel. Set an iron to “steam” heat setting and place it on the towel, above the stain. Leave the iron on the towel for just around 1 minute, then take it off. Wipe any residue moisture left on the table. If you are worried about the heat worsening the stain, you can slowly move the iron around the spot area or even hover the iron and let the steam fall directly on the spot. The trick is to turn the steam on. Do not place the iron on the table for a long time as you can end up damaging the furniture. You can finish off by wiping the area with a bit of olive oil or mineral oil.

II. Use a hair dryer, keep the heat setting at medium or low and direct the heat of the hair dryer on the spot. Use a dry, soft cloth to wipe off the spot.

III. Use a triple 0 grade (000) steel wool to rub the spot out. But be very careful and gentle while rubbing, as steel wool is very harsh and you could rub the wooden surface out!

IV. Mix cigarette ashes and butter or lemon juice or cooking oil. Rub the spot with a cloth dipped in this abrasive mix. Wipe clean with soft cloth. This method may need to be repeated and some pressure should be applied while rubbing.

V. Mix rottenstone and linseed oil to form a thin paste. Rub gently (this paste is very abrasive) on the spot. Do not rub too hard or put too much paste, as the mix will cut deep into the wood’s surface. Keep checking to see if the spots disappear, if they do, stop rubbing and wipe clean with a cloth.

VI. Using your finger, dip in mineral oil, then in salt. Use your finger, now coated, to rub the spot with a circular motion, and wipe out the spot slowly.

VII. With polished wood that has a wax or lacquer finish, apply some mayonnaise to the spot, leave for an hour and then wipe off the mayonnaise. Then apply polish. Other rubbing in substances that could be used, include:

Denatured alcohol (small quantity)
Liquid furniture polish
½ cup ammonia and water mixed
Baking soda or salt mixed with water
Vinegar and olive oil mixed to form a liquid
Baking soda and toothpaste (non-gel type) paste

If with the above techniques, you are successful in removing white spots off your furniture, then make sure you apply a layer of furniture wax or polish to the cleaned furniture. You’d be amazed at the effect a little polishing and spot removal can have on a piece of wooden furniture. An ancient relic designated to the corner of the room, can look so brand new, that it can fool guests and neighbors into thinking you bought new furniture! So before going in for refinishing, bleaching or other extreme measures like throwing the furniture piece out, try a little DIY (Do-It-Yourself) techniques to restoring it on your own.

Types of Beds for Kids

Types of Beds for Kids

The beds for children come in various types, sizes and themes. Kids beds need to be safe for use and allow them to climb easily and any other room in general should provide a sense of comfort to the user. Kids need to store a lot of their stuff like toys, books, clothes, etc. For this purpose, a lot of space is required. It is not always possible to make separate arrangements for storage. The types of beds for kids such as trundle, bunk, etc. could prove to be useful in such cases.

Types of Beds

The bed types enlisted in this article take into account the factors like functionality and appearance. There are a variety of beds available in the market suitable for needs of children.

High Sleepers: The high sleeper beds are again used for saving as much space as possible. Seating areas, drawers, computer desks, drawers, etc. fit in the space below these high sleepers. Different colors, shapes, and configurations are available in this form of kids furniture; one can also decorate these beds in a variety of ways.

Toddler Beds: It is one of the different types of beds for kids that is low in height. A shorter height facilitates climbing on to the beds with ease. Such beds are meant for toddlers and therefore have rounded edges to prevent any kind of injury. The coats applied on this form of home furniture is scratch-proof.

Sleigh Beds: This type of bed has headboards and foot, that are scrolled or curved. It gives these beds a grand and royal appearance and are known for their elegant designs. Sleigh beds though are attractive and give a decorative look to the room, one can also incorporate features like drawers and trundle beds in the design. The trundle beds prove to be useful from the point of saving space.

Car Beds: A car bed is one which is made in the shape of car. Such a bed is suitable for kids bedroom. Kids like to have things that amaze them and which are different than the regular stuff. These come in different shapes and sizes.

Bunk Beds: These are typical beds used for children. Structure is such that one or more bed frames are incorporated in a vertical manner. Floor space is thus saved by making use of bunk beds. Pillars used in supporting the bed and ladder to climb the upper bed frame are important features of bunk beds for kids. The bunk beds are also known as loft beds.

Futon: The futons are Japanese-style beds which are not supported by a frame. These beds are pliable and just like mattresses that one can fold after their use. The futons can therefore, be used as sitting areas for kids during day time. There is no risk of falling from beds with this type. The Westernized form of futons for kids come with a frame. These futons are permanently placed over a frame; instead of storing the futons after use (just like in Japanese tradition), wooden or metal frames are used.

Platform Beds: Such kind of beds are useful for rooms with less space. These versatile beds can accommodate drawers and trundle beds in the space beneath.

The different types of beds in this article should give us an idea about the variety available in the market. Requirement for kids beds can change on the basis on the specific needs and design of the room. One should therefore, select a bed and bedroom furniture which takes into account all these factors.

How to Stain Pressure Treated Wood

How to Stain Pressure Treated Wood

nature

Wood is no doubt one of the most versatile materials for construction purposes. Nevertheless, wood obtained from almost all varieties of trees are susceptible to termites, insects, bacteria, fungi, and other microbes. When wood comes in contact with atmospheric moisture or the ground for a certain period, it gets easily attacked by microbes and pests, thus reducing its durability. This is where the question of pressure treatment comes to the picture. Pressure treated lumber refers to wood that has been exposed to chemical preservatives under increasing pressure, so as to make it insect resistant.

Procedure

Irrespective of whether it is an old post or newly purchased pressure treated wood, proper staining is a good approach to restore its color, appearance, and strength. Painting treated lumber should be avoided as the paint holding capacity of such wood is very low. It is to be noted that the chemical preservatives used in the making of pressure treated wood may be harmful to humans and animals. Hence, it is advisable to use protective gear while staining the wood.

Step 1: Cleaning
Prior to application of the stain, clean the surface of the wood by using an appropriate cleaning solution. In case you are staining old wood, pressure washing (within the range 1200-1500 PSI) is a preliminary step. You may have to rent a pressure washer for this purpose.To deal with mold or mildew problems, apply diluted bleach solution to deal with it. If the wood is very old, it is going to require a certain amount of scrubbing before it is clean enough to be stained. While doing so, make sure you use mouth covers to avoid inhalation of the fumes. Allow the lumber to dry completely before staining. If it is still wet, it is likely to develop blisters and cracks.

Step 2: Staining
Decide the suitable stain product and color for the lumber. Avoid using water-based products to stain treated wood, if it is meant for use in sunny areas. Opt for light color stains or semi-transparent stains with ultraviolet light protection to impart a natural shade. If the old wood has cracks, a solid color stain is the best choice. The process may be completed by following the manufacturer’s guidelines on the stain can. This process may be different based on the manufacturer of the stain.

Some stains can be applied even on wet surfaces. Ensure that you choose the appropriate product for this purpose by confirming with the manufacturer. In such cases, you can directly proceed with the staining steps (without drying) by following the guidelines provided by the product manufacturer. Using a regular paint brush, roller, or paint pad, start applying the stain evenly. If available, make use of a sprayer for uniform stain application. However, this approach may require a higher amount of stain than the regular brush staining method.

For solid color stain, a single thick layer is sufficient for preservation of the pressure treated wood. In the following year, you can apply one more coat to increase durability. For clear coating stains, it is better to put two coats. Also, clear finish requires frequent application, at least once in six months. Lastly, don’t forget to seal the open grains to prevent water penetration. Overall, staining pressure treated lumber once in a year will surely increase its aesthetic value and durability.

Tips for Ebonizing Wood

Tips for Ebonizing Wood

Ebony is a name used for wood that is rich black in color. It is used as an ornamental wood in making exquisite pieces of furniture and items of home décor. There are many species of trees that yield black wood, and these can be found in parts of South East Asia, Africa and Mauritius. Ebony is prized for its smooth finish, fine texture and rich color. Most ebony trees belong to the genus Diospyros. The history of ebony being used in carving furniture, can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. However, during the 19th century, the popularity of ebony was revived in China and it slowly spread to the West.

Today, people are once again taking a liking to this rich, lustrous wood. Black is a color preferred by most people, when it comes to choosing exquisite furniture and other wooden artifacts for their homes. However, due to the rising price of pure ebony, people are more in favor of coloring their wooden furniture in a shade of ebony, instead of opting for the real stuff. This is what exactly the process of ebonizing is all about. It lends that expensive touch to your wooden furniture at a fraction of the cost! Sounds interesting? Well, you might be wondering if the look will be real enough. The fact is, with the advanced ebonizing techniques available today, you can get a look that is almost as “real” as the real thing, if not better!

There are several methods of ebonizing wood and you can choose one according to the kind of effect you want. In this article, we’ll look into a simple and effective method, along with some useful tips.

How to Ebonize Wood

So, you’re interested to learn how to ebonize wood? Let’s have a look at what all things you would need for the process.

Materials Required

Plastic jar with lid
Steel wool
White vinegar
Paint brush
Coffee filter
Tannic acid or tree bark powder
Measuring cylinder
Stirrer
Rags
Ammonia solution
Gloves

So, now that you have all the required stuff ready with you, let’s begin with the process of ebonizing wood. But before that, let me remind you that you must wear the rubber gloves throughout the process, to protect your hands.

Step 1: Prepare the Iron Solution
This step involves soaking the steel wool in white vinegar till it gets completely dissolved in the vinegar. Take the plastic jar, pour white vinegar in it and place the steel wool in the jar. You can use small pieces of iron, such as nails, for the process as well. Here we shall be using steel wool for the simple reason that the thin filaments get readily dissolved in the vinegar and you get a solution in lesser time. It usually takes 5 – 7 days for the steel wool to get completely dissolved in the vinegar. So, make sure to start with this solution well in advance, so that it is ready by the time you begin with the ebonizing process. Also, make sure that the jar you are using for the solution, is not air tight but has a vent for the release of gases that are formed during the process of the metal getting dissolved in the vinegar.

Step 2: Prepare the Tannic Acid Solution
Start with this step only when the iron solution is ready. The tannic acid solution acts as a base for the ebonizing agent, which in this case, is the iron solution. You can either use tannic acid powder for the solution or use tree bark powder. Either way, you’d get the desired results. Just add the powder to hot water and use the stirrer to make a uniform solution.

Step 3: Soak the Wood
Once you have both the solutions ready with you, pour the tannic acid solution on to the wood. Use a rag to spread the tannic acid solution evenly on the wood surface, but be careful not to rub too hard. Wait till all the tannic acid solution is absorbed, before you start applying the ebonizing solution.

Step 4: Apply the Iron Solution
The final step is the application of the iron solution to the wood surface. Use a coffee filter to filter out the solution into a plastic jar. Then, using the brush, apply a thin coat of the iron solution and wait for the surface to turn a shade of black. Then apply further coats till you get the shade you are looking for. Once you feel that the wood surface has acquired your desired shade, allow it to dry. After that, apply a coat of the tannic acid solution and again leave it to dry. Your piece of ebonized wood is ready! Finish off by applying a coat of ammonia to seal the dye within the wood.

Useful Tips

Now that we have a brief idea about the process of ebonizing wood, let’s have a look at some wood ebonizing tips.

Remember to always use real steel wool for the solution. Synthetic steel wool will not serve the purpose.
When choosing the jars for preparing the solutions, make sure to use plastic jars, as metal containers might react with the contents.
If you wish to get a darker shade, you can do so by increasing the strength of the tannic acid solution.
Use a blotting paper to soak excess tannic acid from the wood surface, if necessary.
You can obtain the best results by sanding the wood before beginning with the process of ebonizing.
While soaking the steel wool in the vinegar, make sure that the entire steel wool is immersed in the vinegar. This will prevent formation of rust on its surface.
To test if the iron solution is ready for use, you can dip a piece of wood into it and see if it turns black.
During the process of ebonizing, it is possible that traces of one solution might end up in the other. You need to be careful to prevent this.
To prevent any inconsistencies, stay away from applying too much pressure on the wood surface.
You can use spray finish on the ebonized surface to enhance its look.