Like everything else in life, our furniture cannot escape the hands of time. Be it the coffee table with its water rings, our cupboard that has dulled, or the sofa pillows that look shabby. While most people take these as a sign of “out with the old, in with the new!”, you can save a lot of time and money by following these 14 simple tips that will restore your furniture to its former glory:
1. Cover scratches in wood using walnuts or ground coffee
You’ll need to get a cotton swab, dip it in moist coffee grounds, and then apply it to the scratches in the wood. Wait for about 10 minutes and wipe the surface with a dry cotton towel. This works mainly for darker wood furniture. For light-colored wood, simply rub a walnut over the scratched area and let it sit for a few moments before wiping it with a dry cloth.
2. Remove stains from wood with oil and vinegar
If your wooden furniture has stains that won’t go away, prepare a solution of ¼ cup of canola oil and ¾ cup of white vinegar. Mix the solution well and apply it to the stained surface with a cotton or microfiber cloth. After a few minutes, you’ll notice that the stains are fading away, and the old furniture regains its luster.
3. Fix cracks in the varnish with nail polish and sandpaper
If your wooden furniture’s varnish is damaged, but the paint is still intact, you can fix it with clear nail polish. Apply the nail polish to the damaged area and let it dry for about 10 minutes. Afterwards, use fine sandpaper to flatten the area until it shines again.
4. Make old furniture look new again with wallpaper
Some furniture becomes damaged beyond conventional repair, be it from scratches or deep stains. A great solution is to cover the surfaces with wallpaper, giving the piece a new, chic look. Simply cut the wallpaper to match the surfaces, apply wood glue to the wood using a brush and gently place the wallpaper onto it. Once it has been set, use a ruler to push any air bubbles that may have gotten trapped underneath the wallpaper.
5. Polish and shine wooden furniture with olive oil
If your wooden furniture has lost its shine from years of use or sun-damage, you can give it a cheap, non-toxic polish that will protect the wood and make it shine again. All you need to do is apply olive oil on the wood, using a microfiber cloth and watch how the old piece shines like new again.
6. Remove water rings with mayonnaise
Not everyone likes coasters, and the results are often unsightly water rings on your coffee table. What most people don’t know is that the solution is very simple – apply mayonnaise to the stain and leave it there for about half an hour. Once you wipe it off, you’ll see that the stain is gone.
7. Bleach plastic garden furniture
The longer plastic furniture stays outside, the more sun damage it sustains. Before you decide to throw the old thing in the garbage, try bleaching it first: Fill a bucket with hot water, pour in ¼ cup of bleach, and scrub the piece. Make sure to wear gloves, as bleach is not good for your skin. Once you’re done, wipe the whole thing with a piece of cloth. (Better use a white one because a colored one will become bleached).
8. Bring life back to leather with WD40
Your favorite leather couch or La-Z-Boy may have collected many stains during the years. The good news is that leather can look like new simply by spraying it with WD-40 (a lubricant). After spraying, wipe the WD-40 off with a dry cloth to remove any stains and grime.
9. Restore wood paint with coconut oil
If you have an old piece of wooden furniture that has lost much of its color, you don’t have to repaint it. Use a small amount of coconut oil and dab it on the piece, and then rub it into the wood in circular motions. You’ll notice how the deep color returns and the oil adds a layer of protection to the wood.
10. Fix dents with water and an iron
Wooden furniture can get dented easily, and these dents often feel like there’s nothing you can do about them. However, there is a technique for fixing dents in wood, which takes some time but works wonders: First, pour water over the dented area. Place a kitchen towel or an old shirt over the area, and place the hot iron over the towel. The heat will cause the water to be absorbed into the wood, causing the wood to swell. After a few minutes, check the area and repeat if necessary. Once the dent is barely visible, use sandpaper to smooth the area out.
11. Use a furniture repair marker
In cases of deeper cracks and scratches, or when there’s a particularly stubborn stain in the wood, you can use a special repair marker. Make sure that the marker matches the color of the piece and lightly apply it to the affected area. Ensure that you avoid applying the marker to areas that don’t require fixing.
12. Use hair conditioner to buff stainless steel
By rubbing hair conditioner on to stainless steel surfaces using a damp cloth, you will be able to restore its shine with ease.
13. Restore squashed sofa pillows
The longer you use them, the more your sofa’s pillows get squashed and lose their shape. There’s no need to run to the store and buy a new sofa. Unzip the pillows or open the seams if there isn’t a zipper, shake the stuffing well (if it’s worn out, replace it) and add more stuffing if needed. It’s that simple.
14. Use lemon to polish copper nick-nacks
Picture frames, door and drawer handles, vases, and other copper nick-nacks that have become dull and tarnished can be restored. If you are unsure if the metal is indeed copper, test it with a magnet (copper is not magnetic). Now, mix the juice from ½ a lemon with two teaspoons of baking soda until the solution is consistent. Rub the mixture onto the copper until the grime comes off, and then wipe the solution off with a microfiber or cotton cloth.