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How to Upgrade your kitchen cabinets

1. The easiest way to upgrade kitchen cabinets is to change your hardware. Go drastic. Are your current knobs old fashioned and country? Try modern and funky. Don’t have hardware? Just drill holes into your cabinet and add them. You’ll be surprised what a difference this will make in the overall appeal.
2. Another inexpensive way that isn’t too time consuming is to paint your cabinet doors. Yes, just the doors. The contrast with the rest of the cabinets can look really striking. Or just paint the cabinets and leave the doors as they are. Another option, use a stencil to add a design to the door. The possibilities are limitless
3. Of course, if you have the time and inspiration, paint the cabinets. Pick a color that you can live with. If it is a small space be sure to use a bright color and make sure it coordinates with the rest of the kitchen, and house for that matter. Don’t forget to sand and prime them first.
4. Another quick fix to change the look of your kitchen cabinets is to take the doors off all together. You can take off one or two if you’d like. Make sure the contents are pretty enough to display and fill in the holes left from the hinges.
5. For a little extra cash, you can keep the cabinets and replace the doors. Or you can take the doors to a professional and they can cut out the center and add glass, metal or cork.

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How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets

Plan the project so that all materials and tools can be assembled before beginning. If you live near a home improvement center like Lowes or Home Depot, you might expect to be able to pick up last minute supplies on short notice, but time spent shopping will decrease productivity nonetheless. Continue Reading →

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Identifying Antique Tables

A great piece of furniture to decorate your home with is in the form of antique tables. Finding a true antique does take a little bit of investigative work in order to weed out the true antiques from the replications. If you know what to look for you can confidently walk into any type of antique store, or auction, and know what it is you are looking for.

General Shape

While modern tables can be in pretty rough shape, you want to look at the “antique” shape of the table. Are the boards roughed over and worn? Are the nails old and rusted? These things will give you a general idea of age.

Construction Techniques

An antique table will have been built with rough hand tools and without the benefit of accurate measurements and power tools. Look at the boards closely and see if you can find an irregularities in the cuts, in the planing, and in the fit of each one. Look at the joinery that was used also. Many techniques such as dovetail, and groove and tenon were used a lot in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Construction Materials

Antique tables would not have been constructed with screws. They would have had crudely fashioned nails without any heads on them.

Other Signs

A closer inspection should show antique practices such as solid wood table tops, drawers under the table for holding silverware and ornately designed legs.

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Wood Table Top Repair

A solid wood table top provides tables with a strong, beautiful look for both antique and modern furniture. There are instances when the solid wood table top is damaged through a chip being taken out of it. This may have happened through moving, through storage, or just with regular use. You may also have purchased an antique solid wood table that has been slightly damaged. To restore the solid wood table top to its original beauty will take some work, but it can be done through several steps and attention to detail.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Hand Sander
  • Dremel Tool
  • Grinding Wheel Bit
  • Replacement Wood
  • Wood Glue
  • Dowels
  • Drill and Bits
  • Stain
  • Foam Brush

Step 1: Survey Damage to Table Top

With the table top in some good lighting, take a look at the damage that has been done. You will need to look carefully to make sure of the extent of the chip and any other gouges in the surface.

Step 2: Buy Replacement Wood

A solid wood table top can be repaired by clearing away the wood surrounding the chip and replacing it with a new piece. If you can, locate the same type of wood that the table top is already made out of. This will give the top consistency in look and quality. If not, then get as close as you can.

Step 3: Outline Square Around Chip

Using a pencil and square, draw a small square around the chip in your solid wood table top. This is the section of wood that you will be removing.

Step 4: Cut Out Square

Score the outline of the square with a chisel and hammer. If the square is not too big, you can remove all of the wood with the chisel. However, larger pieces can be done a little easier with a Dremel and a grinding wheel bit. Work at the chip until it is completely removed. You do not have to go very deep with the cut. Only go slightly deeper than the chip in the wood is.

Step 5: Square Up Sides and Bottom

Once the square has been removed, square up the sides and the bottom to make everything level. You can use the Dremel with a sanding attachment, or a chisel.

Step 6: Cut Replacement Wood to Size

Measure the dimensions of the square and cut the replacement piece of wood to size. The use of a bandsaw, or a small scroll saw will make this much easier.

Step 7: Glue in Wood

With the replacement piece cut to size, you can then insert it into the solid wood table top. Clean out the square hole and apply a liberal amount of wood glue. Insert the wood piece and make sure it sits on the bottom of the square. Clean off the excess glue with a cloth.

Step 8: Sand and Finish

Let the replacement piece dry overnight. Once it is dry you can then sand off the excess glue and make sure the replacement piece of wood is flush with the rest of the solid wood table top. Clean off the table top with a damp rag and finish it with your favorite stain. You can choose to refinish the entire table top for a more universal look.

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Our Services

We offer the following on-site services to your resident.

Kitchen Cabinet Restoration & Refinishing
Scratches, Gouges, Nicks, Dents, Burns
Reglue joint, Reupholster, structural Repair
Fire & Water Damage, flood
Hardwood Floor Refinishing and install

We provide On-Site complete commercial services, specializing in:

Lobbies or greeting areas
Leather Repair and Finish
Water Rings, Cigarette Burns, Stains, Spills
Restaurant, Executives Suites
Elevator and Interior Doors

Interior  Trim Doors
Customized Color Changes to Match Any Furniture Color
Restoration & Refinishing (Conferences tables, Credenzas, Desks etc.)
GSA contract

Our offices are conveniently located in Rockville, Maryland. We service the entire Washington Metropolitan Area, Virginia.

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Repairing Chairs

Tightening loose chairs is one furniture repair most homeowners avoid. Everyone assumes you need dozens of clamps, a special glue and knowledge akin to black magic to repair a chair – not so. Your total expenditure for repairing every loose chair in your home should be less than buying a new one,  even if you have to buy everything list above.

For now, we’ll assume the chair is loose, but nothing is broken. Replacing broken parts is a whole other ball game.

The first consideration is the type of chair. If you have a typical dinette set (informal), the chairs have legs that are not perpendicular to the floor and all the joints are glue joints. The legs are glued directly into the bottom of the seat with no screws. Dining room chairs (formal) typically have legs parallel to each other (or nearly so), perpendicular to the floor. The cushioned seat is attached with screws, and the corners of the frame immediately below the seat are held together with a block in each corner that is screwed and/or glued in place. Most chairs will fit into one or the other of these two categories, or perhaps combine features of both.

Tools for Deconstruction:

  • A rubber mallet (wrapping an old sock around a regular hammer will NOT work). This will run less than $10.00. 16 to 24 ounces is heavy enough.
  • A roll of 1″ masking tape
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Sharp pocket knife

First put a piece of masking tape on each part of the chair to mark its position. Use a simple abbreviation code: RF=right front, LF=left front, etc. Mark each piece, all four legs, the stretchers that run between the legs front to back on each side, and, if there are any, the stretcher(s) running left to right. Mark the stretchers so you can tell which end goes in front, back, left or right. These pieces may look symmetrical but chances are they aren’t. They must go back in the same position they were in originally. With a formal chair, also mark the rails, those board-like pieces immediately beneath the seat cushion.

With a formal chair, remove the upholstered seat and the screws holding the wooden corner blocks in place. Number the blocks and the inside of the rail so you can put the blocks back where they came from.

Now see what you can pull apart just by wiggling and pulling on the pieces. After you’ve removed what you can, go after the stretchers, if they haven’t already come out. Use the mallet to hit the leg, swinging parallel to the stretcher. Hit as close to the joint as possible, holding the stretcher tightly. Continue this process until the stretchers are removed.

Having removed the stretchers, the legs should be looser than they were, if not falling out. Use the same process to separate the legs from the rails (on a formal chair) or, on an informal chair turn the piece upside down, striking the seat bottom with the mallet while holding the leg to be removed. Always try to hit as close to the joint as possible, swinging in line with the piece you’re trying to remove. You want to pull it out, not break it off. Do this over a padded surface. If the piece separates suddenly, remember you’re holding only part of it; the rest will fall. One last note: some joints will be just as tight as the day they were originally glued. The old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies. If you can’t get a joint apart without extreme exertion, leave it alone.

Got the chairs apart, did we? No mashed fingers or broken parts? Good! Now let’s make them like new again.

Tools for Reassembly

  • Pocket knife with a small blade
  • 8 ounce bottle of Elmer’s Carpenters Wood glue

  • The shortest coil available of sash cord (ask for it by name). This looks like clothes line, but it isn’t. Sash cord is the woven cotton rope that was used to hold sash weights in old fashioned windows. If you have a choice, get the larger diameter.
  • 3 feet of 5/8″ or 3/4″ dowel rod, cut into 1 foot lengths
  • An old cotton T shirt cut up into small rags
  • A section of newspaper
  • Some Q-tips
  • A small pan of water

Using your masking tape markers as guides, put the chair back together. No glue, yet. This is a dry fit, to make certain you’ve thoroughly cleaned the holes and not left any burrs elsewhere that will hinder the assembly when you do glue it. Correct anything that doesn’t fit.

Whether you’re working with formal chairs (cushion seat) or dinette chairs (legs attach directly to the seat) here’s the assembly process. Fold the newspaper to get a square 4 or more layers thick. Put a puddle of glue on it about the size of a silver dollar (ask your grandfather).

For dinette chairs: using a Q-tip, spread the glue (you want to get a film of glue – if the glue runs, you’ve got too much) over the tenons of the stretcher and into the holes the tenons go into. If there is a left to right stretcher, fit it into the two side stretchers first, then insert them into the legs. Spread the glue over the leg tenons and their matching holes in the seat, and insert them. On a chair that was just slightly loose before, you may have to use the mallet to drive them in. You should give them a good tap, anyway, just to make certain you drive them home. Set the chair upright on a flat surface. Take a length of sash cord long enough to go around the chair at the feet, and tie a knot in it. The cord should be slightly loose. Insert a section of dowel rod between the cord and the chair, and turn it clockwise to form a tourniquet. Keep turning it to tighten the cord and drive the tenons completely into place. Angle the dowel so it catches on the chair seat (or a stretcher) and can’t unwind. Dip a rag in the water and wipe off the squeezed out glue. Dry the joints with another rag. Set it aside overnight on a flat surface (this lets you be sure all four legs are touching the ground and you haven’t pulled the chair out of line).

For formal chairs, spread the glue as before to attach the front rail to the two front legs. Assemble stretchers as above,and then put the side stretchers into the front legs. Put the side rails into the front legs. Lay the chair on its back on the floor. Position the stretchers and side rails over the holes and drive them into place with the mallet. Set the chair upright on a flat surface. Take two sections of sash cord, one around the rails, the other around the legs at the stretchers. Wind up both with dowel rods uniformly to tighten the joints. Wipe off glue as before and leave to dry. Corner blocks can be replaced after the frame has set up.

Be sure to put the chairs on a flat surface while tightening. This insures that all four feet meet the floor

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How to Repair Rattan Furniture

Rattan furniture is made out of rattan, a species of palm native to Asia, Africa, and Australia. Rattan is considered one of the strongest types of wood, but when exposed to sunlight, it can bleach. It can also develop cracks and dents when used for a long period of time. To ensure that every piece of rattan furniture remains useful even after years of use, here are some useful repair instructions.

Tools and Materials

  • Glue
  • Sand Paper
  • Cloth
  • Stain
  • Spray Paint
  • Spray Primer
  • Knife
  • Screws or Nails
  • Hammer
  • Paintbrush
  • Boiled Linseed Oil

Step 1 – Glue Loose Joints

If there are any loose joints in the rattan furniture, glue them back together. If the joints are connected using screws, tighten these screws. If they are connected using nails, remove the nails first and hammer new ones in place. Even if the nails and screws hold the joints firmly, still apply a good amount of glue for added strength.

Step 2 – Scrape and Sand Rough Grains

Scrape off the rough patches or protruding grains on the furniture with a sharp knife. When the larger grains have been removed, use a sandpaper to smooth the surface. Make sure to wear a dust mask to protect the respiratory system. If there are still rough patches, continue sanding them until every surface is smooth. This will also help prepare the furniture for painting or staining.

Step 3 – Apply Stain

Wipe any dust off the rattan surfaces using a clean rag. Prepare stain or varnish on a container. Cut the stain evenly on the furniture until all surfaces are covered. Make sure not to apply the stain twice in one area as this may cause unevenness in shade. Wait for the first coat to dry completely before cutting another coat if necessary. Allow the stain to dry before using the furniture again. Using stain makes the rattan furniture look more natural. However, paint can also be used as an alternative.

Step 4 – Paint the Furniture

The best way to paint the furniture is to use spray paint. This is recommended because rattan does not create a flat surface. Spray paint seeps through small cracks and uneven areas. Prepare the rattan by spraying it with primer. Allow the primer to dry for a few minutes before spraying the paint. To ensure that the rattan furniture matches the interior decoration of the home, make sure to choose a paint color carefully. Allow the paint to dry.

Step 5 – Use Boiled Linseed Oil

If the rattan furniture has not been painted or stained, but does have small dents and cracks in it, there is one trick that can repair the damage. Apply the boiled linseed oil onto the rattan surfaces using a paintbrush. Allow the oil to soak for about 30 minutes. Rub the surfaces with a soft cloth. The linseed oil does not actually fill in the dents or cracks, but causes the rattan to expand, thus making these minor damages less noticeable. It also provides a shiny finish.

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Can You Paint Over Painted Furniture without Sanding?

If you are interested in painting over painted furniture without having to spend time sanding, you have a few options. While many people recommend sanding your furniture anyway, it can be messy and consume a great deal of time. As an alternative, you can purchase a special paint that is designed to adhere to any other type of paint. The other option that you have is to purchase a special bonding primer. Apply a coat of this primer to the surface of the paint and allow it to dry. Then you can paint right over it.

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Please call  (202) 285-4515 or e-mail us at woodprorestoration@gmail.com  for a free estimate on how you can
Add More Enhancement To Your Furniture.

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