Homemade Wood Restorer

Written by becky lower
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Homemade Wood Restorer
Simple household ingredients can be combined to keep your furniture looking like new. (table and chairs image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com)

Furniture restoratives run the gamut today from being environmentally friendly and costing a fortune to being so toxic that you need to apply them only in a well-ventilated area. When the components are broken down, though, regardless of the product, it's usually a mix of recognisable ingredients that can be combined at home for far less than you'd spend in the store. Using common household ingredients can bring any of your heirlooms back to life.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Olive or safflower oil
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • 2-quart container with lid
  • Soft cloths
  • Blender
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Mayonnaise--not salad dressing
  • Turpentine
  • Linseed Oil
  • Tea bags

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  1. 1

    Mix together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 4 tablespoons of white vinegar and one quart of warm water in a 2-quart container. Shake to blend the ingredients. Drench a cloth in the mixture and wipe on furniture. Dry the furniture off with a second cloth. This will clean the wood thoroughly.

  2. 2

    Polish the wood after it's been cleaned by combining 2/3 cup white vinegar and 1/3 cup safflower oil in a blender. Wipe on freshly cleaned surfaces with a soft cloth.

  3. 3

    Use petroleum jelly or mayonnaise on particularly dry or old wood. Massage the jelly or mayonnaise into the wood and let it sit overnight. Remove excess with warm water and a soft cloth.

  4. 4

    Mix equal parts of turpentine, linseed oil and boiling water together. Apply while warm to furniture that needs deep cleansing or bleaching. Allow to sit and then rinse off with plenty of water. Don't let the turpentine mix get cold before it is applied.

  5. 5

    Steep two tea bags in a quart container filled with hot water and let the mix cool. Wet a soft cloth with the mix and run it over the wood. The tannic acid in the tea will maintain the wood between polishings.

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