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Furniture-Care Tips

The Martha Stewart Show, March 2010

Keep your furniture looking its very best with these expert tips from furniture restorer Christophe Pourny.

Cleaning Hardware
Begin by removing hardware from the furniture (never clean hardware on the furniture as you will ruin wood finishes). Dip hardware in pure ammonia to instantly clean brass to a dull shine. Then, brush with a plastic toothbrush, and polish with a soft cloth and brass cleaning product. Avoid using steel wool or a wire brush; it will scratch and tarnish the brass beyond repair.

For extremely dirty pieces, use gel paint stripper first: dip the piece in a jar of paint stripper and wait; all the gunk will fall off. Then, continue to clean the hardware with ammonia following the steps above.

Lubricating Locks
Simply sprinkle graphite powder on to the lock. Avoid using oil, which will stain clothing.

Caring for Cedar
Extend the life of cedar blocks by treating with cedar or lavender oils. The scent can be sprayed in the drawer on wood or mixed with a neutral medium such as wheat oil.

Comments (4)

  • 28 Aug, 2010

    I used the Ammonia and it stripped the brass OFF

  • 17 Aug, 2010

    Where can wheat oil be purchased?

  • 17 Aug, 2010

    I believe it was just plain ammonia that can be purchased at any supermarket.

  • 15 Mar, 2010

    wher do you purchase this kind of ammonia/