16 Jul 2013
Being able to repair and restore wood furniture means that you can extend the life of the pieces you already own and you can look at the option of buying pieces of wood furniture that need TLC.
Solid wood furniture has become expensive and being able to pick up a bargain is the only way some homeowners can own furniture that is built to last a lifetime or two.
Wooden furniture can get scratched, chipped and splintered, but there is a method to restoring it to its former glory.
The piece of furniture will need sanding to remove dirt, paint splotches, spatters and splinters.
You may find that the surface of the wood has cracked in places where it has dried out. It's important to remember that wood requires constant nourishment to keep it looking good.
Regular application of a protective oil or seal penetrates deep into the wood to protect and if not applied the wood starts to shrink as it dries out.
The easiest way to fix dents and dings, or repair missing chunks, is to use Alcolin QuikWood. This 2-part epoxy resin is kneaded together and applied to the lightly sanded surface to be repaired.
There is a trick to using this product properly. Once kneaded you need to apply the resin forcefully onto the surface and push down and out with your thumb over the surface to ensure a good bond with the wood. If you don't do this, there is a chance that the product will simply fall off when you start sanding.
You also need to smooth the resin before it dries, as the product becomes rock hard once cured and difficult to sand. Be sure to have a small bowl of water handy, so that you can wet a finger to smooth down the resin. Use the tip of a finger to press down and smooth out the sides so that the resin fits and matches the surrounding levels of wood as much as possible.
Let the resin cure for about an hour - or until it is hard to the touch, but no more than 2 hours.
This is the best time to sand it smooth, before it has the chance to cure completely and becomes extremely hard. Start off by sanding with 120-grit sandpaper and finish with 240-grit to smooth.
Sand away as much of the resin as possible, leaving only what is needed to fill the gap or dent.
The reason for this is that the resin does not accept a stain and will be obvious - so the idea is to make it as inconspicuous as possible.
Tip: If you do need to stain to a dark colour, apply the smallest amount possible of artist's oil paint when kneading the Alcolin QuikWood.
Smaller cracks and dents can be filled with wood filler. It's important to choose the colour of wood filler that matches that of what the finished colour will be, as closely as possible. Wood filler comes in a variety of wood tints and you should choose a pine if you are not staining, or a darker colour for wood to be stained.
Only apply enough wood filler to cover the damaged area - too much and you will waste time sanding it off.
Now that you have repaired and filled all the dings, dents and scratches, it's time to sand. Always start with a lower grit sanding pad. Use 60/80-grit for removing varnish or paint and 120-grit for all other surfaces.
You don't want to sand down to raw wood, as this would spoil the aged effect that the piece has acquired over time.
You may notice that some of the old stain has been sanded away, so you can use gel stain to put some colour back into the wood. Use disposable gloves and apply the gel stain with a soft cloth. Work on a small area at a time, as the gel stain dries quickly. If you find that there are streaks, apply a dab of gel stain to the area to rub out.
Apply gel stain over the entire project, so that you don't have any areas that are lighter or darker than the rest. You will be able to see how the dark stain left behind shows through and gives the finish an aged or vintage look.
To finish off you can choose to use antique wax or substitute this with sealer or varnish.
Sealer and varnish would be best if you plan to repair or restore a coffee or side table, or any furniture that could be damaged by water marks.
However, the antique wax also protects from spills. The wax leaves a satiny-smooth finish and allows for the natural wood to be seen and touched.
Tip: Take a look at the Plascon Woodcare range when next at your local Builders Warehouse . Plascon Woodcare Sanding Sealer is a nitrocellulose-based sealer for use as a base coat on interior wood. Ideal as a base coat, the product has excellent filling and sanding properties.
Use Plascon Woodcare Sanding Sealer for filling the grain on all solid timber or veneers.
Article courtesy of www.homedzine.co.za
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