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Background and Identification
Humankind is perhaps not as grateful to furniture as we should be. While we idolize homes and often express gratitude for having a roof over our heads, we don’t as often pay gratitude to the chair we sit in, the couch we relax in, or the bed we sleep in. Furniture used to be significantly more appreciated. When people first colonized America, furniture was a prized possession and a rarity. Early Americans lacked the necessary building materials, especially nails, so having a chair or two was something to be grateful for. In fact, the words “chairperson,” “chairman,” and “chairwoman” are used today to describe people in positions of leadership and power because, in early America, only those with status were able to sit in the limited furniture available.
Furniture comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes, with different designs optimized for various purposes. Furniture is also made of a variety of materials, including plastic, wood, leather, glass, etc. Furniture is designed to support home life and business operations by providing seating, comfortable lounging, storage, workspaces, etc. Additionally, the term furniture is used to describe movable entities, so even though you might sit on the stairs or floor of your house, that doesn’t make the furniture.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to fix a drawer that keeps sliding open?
Rouge drawers that open by themselves are often caused by damaged, loose, or misaligned drawer slides that allow the drawer to slide back open after closing. To keep the drawer closed, repair or replace the drawer’s slides. Pull the drawer out of its slot and inspect its slides. If the holes appear damaged or enlarged, drill pilot holes close to the location of the old screws. Replace any missing screws by inserting new screws and tightening them with a screwdriver. Remove the old screws from the drawer and apply a small amount of wood glue to each screw. Then, insert the screws into new holes and tighten with a screwdriver. Next, remove the bent or damaged slides by removing all of the screws with a screwdriver. Bent slides can be bent back with a pair of pliers, but the slides may need to be replaced if they are badly damaged. Be sure to purchase drawer slides that are similar in size to the existing slides. Then, place the new slides in the position of the old ones and secure them with screws. If a drawer does not open and close easily, spray lubricant on the drawer’s slide.
How to restore/refinish furniture?
Sometimes, wood furniture does not need its existing finish stripped or sanded away, but may just need a clear coat of wipe-on finish to restore it. If the piece is painted, a previous owner may have tried to cover up dents, stains, and imperfections, so sanding down the paint may not be as effective as choosing a piece that only has varnish on it. Any pieces of furniture not made from solid wood, such as laminates and particleboard, are usually not worth refinishing. To rejuvenate furniture, simply clean and wax the surface. Without stripping the finish, dents and cracks can be repaired by touching up certain worn out areas. Or, using a finish stripping product or power sander, you can remove the old finish, make repairs and touch-ups, and then apply a new finish.
How to repair furniture that was damaged by a dog?
Wood filler can be molded to take the required shape to repair chew marks and dents. Clean the chewed portions carefully and use a scratch awl to remove any splintered wood pieces to create a small recess at least 1/4-inch deep. Sand the area with 120 grit sandpaper to smooth jagged edges. For substantial damage, use epoxy wood putty slightly lighter in color than the furniture and use a putty knife to press the epoxy into the recess. If the damage is smaller, use wood filler with an activator that comes in a squeeze tube, mix the two together, and fill up the chew marks. The filler hardens within a few minutes, so make sure to cover all edges and blend the filler with the piece to prevent any gaps. Let the filler dry for 20 minutes and use sandpaper to smoothen out the edges. Wipe off any dust particles and apply either paint or a wood polish to blend the repair with the rest of the furniture. Paint can darken after drying, to make sure to choose a color one shade lighter than the original paint.
What's the best way to repair a rip in a leather couch?
Use a scalpel or a pair of sharp scissors to trim the worn edges off of the tear to make a cleaner edge. Then, use tweezers and a piece of canvas cloth to insert the cloth behind the tear. Use a spatula to apply leather glue onto the underside of a piece of leather (put the glue in between the cloth and the leather). Then, press the leather down onto the cloth and let the glue dry. Use a heavy filler to fill the gap in the leather, making it level with the rest of the surface. The filler should be applied in 8-10 thin layers and dried with a hairdryer for a few minutes each time. Apply layers of filler until the tear is three-quarters full. Apply a final layer and smooth it with a palette knife to make it level with the leather. A grain pattern can be embossed into the final layer to blend the tear with the rest of the leather. Finally, apply a small amount of leather colorant to the area with a sponge and blend it with the surrounding leather.
How to repair cracks and torn screw holes in particleboard wood?
To repair torn screw holes, glue several toothpicks into the original crack or hole, and use a pair of scissors to cut the toothpicks flush with the particleboard. Replace the screws and use a washer to keep the tear from recurring later. For large torn screw holes, make a filler from sawdust and wood glue (hardware stores may have some sawdust you can use for free if you ask nicely!). Mix the sawdust with enough glue to make a paste and refill the holes with the paste, then wait 24 hours for it to dry before resetting the screws. Particleboard is literally made from a similar mixture of sawdust and glue, so this paste can be used to fill some small cracks, as well. For large or long cracks in particleboard, use a flat reinforcement bracket with precut holes. Use wood glue to fix the bracket in place, then use small screws to secure it. You can use two to three brackets to reinforce the crack and keep it from getting worse.
How to repair a squeaky chair?
Check the chair’s nuts, bolts, and screws and tighten any loose hardware. Apply a lubricating oil like WD-40 on all of the chair’s nuts, screws, and bolts to help loosen the joints. For very squeaky hardware, consider removing the bolts and screws completely before adding lubricant. If the chair only squeaks when you lean back, it is probably because there is too much tension where the spring’s ends rub on the housing ends. Loosen the seat tension turn-knob and remove the turn-knob, then apply oil inside the housing.
What is the best way to clean wood furniture?
Unless you are absolutely certain of your wood furniture’s finish, it is best to clean the furniture in stages, starting with a mild cleanser that will not damage the integrity of the finish, then moving on to stronger solutions if the gentler ones are ineffective. When trying a new solution, always test it on an inconspicuous part of the furniture using a cotton ball where small amounts of damage will not be noticed. Use a small amount of liquid dish soap mixed with some warm water as the first stage, after passing the cotton ball test. Avoid soaking the wood, and brush a sponge lightly over the surface without letting the liquid linger, then dry thoroughly. Graduate to mineral spirits if the dish soap solution does not clean enough. To prevent future damage, use a furniture wax product and rub in the direction of the wood grain, and buff with a clean cloth.
How to cover up scratches in a plastic laminate countertop?
Plastic laminates are composed of layers of compressed paper covered with a thin layer of hard plastic. Try applying a coat of paste wax to add a new shine to the surface and hide scratches. Clean the countertop with warm, soapy water, and use a soft, cotton cloth to work furniture paste wax into the scratches. Lightly spread more wax across the entire surface of the countertop to prevent future damage. After the wax dries, use another cotton cloth to buff the entire surface of the countertop. If the scratches are deeper than the outer plastic coating, try using a colored laminate filler and letting it dry for 24 hours before polishing the area with furniture wax. Another option is applying a special plastic laminate countertop paint to refinish countertops. Clean the countertop to remove dirt and grease, then fill deep scratches or dents with two-part auto-body filler, then sand the surface smooth to remove any gloss. Wipe up any sanding dust before coating the surface with the countertop paint.