Simple hacks that will get stains and scratches out of your furniture 

  06 April 2018    Read: 1308
Simple hacks that will get stains and scratches out of your furniture 

A deep scratch or an irritating coffee mug stain can really ruin a much-loved piece of furniture, but there are plenty of simple ways to restore your favourite pieces, that barely cost a penny. 

French polisher Alex Webster, who appears in the new Quest series Salvage Hunters: The Restorers has revealed the tricks you need to get your furniture good as new, with simple tools such as wire wool, polish and wax sticks. 

Alex restores an average of eight pieces of furniture a week, from grandfather clocks and bookcases to priceless Georgian mirrors or interior wood panels on a classic car. 

The show goes behind-the-scenes with an expert team to see what it really takes to transform junk into gems, and you can do the same at home with these handy tricks up your sleeve.

How to remove a red wine stain 

Country furniture, often made of oak or pine tend to have a beeswax finish.

This finish compliments these timber perfectly but doesn't offer as much protection as French polish or varnish type of finish. 

This can leave them susceptible to stains from liquids, and a very common stain is red wine. 

The simple nature of the beeswax finish means it's an easy finish to re apply so removal of these stain is relatively simple.

To strip the table use methalated spirits and a medium to fine grade of wire wool. 

The meths acts like a stripper to dissolve the wax finish and when poured on and rubbed with wire wool it will take the table top down to the bare wood. 

If the stain remains then it can be sanded using a medium grade of paper and finished with a very fine paper.

To refinish, use a wax that matches the colour of the table. Buff it into the grain with a cloth and buff back off. Then repeat until you reach the desired depth of colour and shine. A simple effective process.

Always try any new process on a less obvious area just to check the results are what's required.

How to remove white water marks

When liquid is left to sit on a polished surface too long it will sink into the finish on a French-polished top. 

The bottom of a hot cup will do the same with heat softening the polish and then trapping moisture inside as it cools. Removing this is often simple.

To start you will need an extra fine 0000 grade wire wool. Make a tennis ball size pad with a ball of the wirewool, starting rubbing gently with the grain of the wood and then increase the pressure until it starts to disappear.

Be careful that you don't go right through the finish down to the bare timber below, because if this happens it's time to call a professional. Once the stain has gone, continue over the whole area to ensure a uniform finish.

This should leave your top clean, watermark free but with a matte finish. Bringing back the shine can be achieved by using a good quality beeswax. Use a colour that matches your furniture, apply with a soft cloth and then buff off for a shine. This can be repeated until the desired shine is achieved.

Hiding scratches

Wax sticks are available in various sets and colours. These can be used as both a filler for deeper scratches and to hide more minor scratches by using them almost like a crayon. 

For the deeper scratches I like to break a small piece off the stick and melt it. This can be done in a spoon over a candle or the hob. This also gives you an opportunity to mix the colours together to get a perfect match. I then use a small paint brush, dip it into my melted wax and fill the hole. 

Allow to cool for five minutes, and then use a plastic card such as a bank card and gently rub over the area to remove excess wax until completely flush and smooth. 

Then use a soft cloth or your finger to gently rub the wax until it shines. This will help blend it in with your polished top.

Removing grime from kitchen table legs

It's common to get a build-up of grime on furniture legs and so a gentle solution for removing this stubborn problem in needed. 

This can be difficult to remove, but an extra fine 0000 grade wirewool and some white spirits will break this down and make it easy to remove. Just pour a small amount on to your small ball of wirewool and rub the area gently until it starts to remove. 

Particularly large pieces may take some time if they need going over completely. Keep changing your wirewool for a new piece to ensure the grime is removed. The white spirit can sink into the grain of the wood and appear darker. 

Allow this to dry and it will lighten, then use a clean, dry piece of wirewool to clean over the area to remove any residue. You can then revive any colour that has been lost on the bottom of the legs with a wood dye that matches the colour of the table, and finish with a beeswax to complete the finish.


The Daily Mail

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