Thursday, July 20, 2006

Clean Sticky Wooden Chairs

This is the season to really notice the stickiness on wooden furniture. A typical experience is to settle in to the chair and after a few minutes notice you have adhered to it. The remaining time is spent trying not to touch the back. Here is a tip my mother just tried.

My mom has a great pine table and chairs, and has tried just about everything. Recently she heard about a simple solution......paint thinner. Sure enough, cheap old paint thinner on a rag got rid of all the stickiness.

"Paint thinner" can be called different things depending where you live and what you buy. I think it is also called Varsol ( tm) or "mineral spirits".

If you have old furniture or traditionally made items, or genuine " french polished" furniture you should use caution. Some old items have been coated in shellac. I have had great success in removing the shellac and then applying danish oil. You don't get the shine, but a beautiful luster instead, which brings out the beauty of the wood and tends to fit in with other antique pieces.
To remove the shellac you need to use alcohol ( methyl hydrate) . It is a fun and easy process, but make sure the area is well ventilated and there is NO flame or spark source anywhere near. Alcohol is very flammable and also invisible when ignited. Talk to your hardware or paint dealer to get all the rags, instructions, etc. Another option with shellaced items is to clean and resurface them.....again not a hard process, but it does take a bit of elbow grease.

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