How to Restore Old Wooden Furniture in 5 Easy Steps

While it’s true that a build-up of dirt and grime can make furniture lose their former appearance over time, you can still save them with the right tools and materials.

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Observe proper safety!
Thick gloves, a dust mask, and a work apron (along with long sleeves and proper protective eyewear) will be your best friends for all things related to woodworking, especially since you’re using varnish that will produce noxious fumes.

You should also do this in a place with good ventilation. If you can, re-finish all pieces of old furniture outside so that the fumes will disperse instead of lingering in your home.

2. Know the type of finish used for the furniture.
The next step to restoring old furniture is knowing what kind of finish was used for it.

While natural finishes, such as varnish or lacquer, are hard to identify with sight alone, you can usually get a good idea on what it is by applying a small amount of denatured alcohol to a small area.

If it comes off, the coating is shellac. If it takes lacquer thinner, the finish is probably lacquer. If neither of these work, there’s a good chance you’re looking at a varnish.

3. Clean and re-amalgam.
After identifying the type of finish used, it’s time to start cleaning and re-amalgamating.

Scrub wood, rattan, and wicker surfaces with an oil-based wood cleaner to get through any dirt and wax on the surface, which should bring back some of the finish’s original luster. If this doesn’t work, use a solution of warm water and liquid detergent.

Because finishes can develop scratches over the years (which dulls wood surfaces), you need to re-amalgam them using a solvent to even out the imperfections. Next, buff it with steel wool along the wood grain.
Keep in mind that re-amalgamation only works for shellac or lacquer finishes and not varnish.

4. Strip off the old finish.
Strip away old finish by using a stripping formula – the more layers, the tougher the formula you will need – and applying it from top to bottom. Wait for twenty minutes before scraping with a scraping tool.

Switch to a liquid stripping formula for the last bit, and use a steel wool for carvings and corners.

5. Apply a new finishing coat.
Before proceeding to the last step, it’s important to make the much-needed repairs, such as filling in cracks or fixing any broken areas in the upholstery. But if there are no needed repairs to make, you can proceed to the re-finishing.

Do this by sanding the piece first with a rough grit sandpaper. Clean up any remaining dust on the surface before applying your finish with a natural-bristle brush, and then leave overnight before sanding it down again with finer-grit sandpaper.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

5 Crucial Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Eyeglasses

You may have had your glasses for years and still think you see perfectly clear with them, but there’s a good chance you may not have noticed that your vision isn’t as great as when you first got your pair of lenses.

So when you start to take notice of the following signs, it’s probably time to schedule an appointment with your optometrist:

1. Headaches
Recurring headaches is perhaps the most overlooked factor people notice, but it’s the most telling sign that you need to change your lenses.

This happens because while you’re actually seeing things slightly more blurry than usual over time, your brain compensates for this and tries to correct the problem. The result is that your brain expends energy correcting your vision, and you get headaches.

2. Squinting
Another sign that you need to replace your glasses is if you find yourself squinting to focus on objects. This is especially true if you’re nearsighted and need to see distant objects clearly. But what you don’t realize is that this does more damage over time.

In fact, squinting actually forces your eyes to focus, which adds more strain on them, and if you find this more likely to happen when you’re reading or a book or using a computer, then you’re due for a prescription change.

3. Blurred Vision
Having blurred vision is less obvious at first since you don’t notice this right away. However, you will eventually notice a moment when your vision is suddenly blurred even with glasses on.

If this is the case, you will need to see your optometrist to determine whether you need a prescription change or treatment for other conditions that cause significant changes to your vision, such as cataracts.

4. Eye Fatigue
While this can be caused by a lot of other factors (such as a lack of sleep or seasonal allergies), they usually only last a day or two at most. Persistent eye fatigue, meanwhile, is a common symptom caused by having outdated prescription lenses.

IF you’re experiencing eye fatigue more frequently than you used to, having a prescription change may be due in order to relieve some of the strain.

5. Lens Scratching
Wear and tear is also a huge factor for needing a regular prescription upgrade. Even though scratches on your lenses may seem un-obtrusive at first, they could significantly affect your vision and increase the amount of eye strain you experience.

The same can also be said for glasses with special coatings or outdated features, such as those designed for anti-UV or for glare reduction. In fact, if your glasses are longer than two years old, you should have them replaced with a prescription that suits your needs.

The Frequent Traveler’s Guide to Electric Razors

Every man who is a regular traveler or is constantly on-the-go can certainly use one of these because of the convenience they provide. They can last for as many uses as possible, and can be used even without shaving cream or a bathroom sink and mirror.

Electric razors have a few advantages over traditional blade razors, the first one being that they are much easier and safer to use. Another reason why these razors are great is because they can be used almost anywhere as long as the batteries are charged or as long as there is an electrical outlet.

Trimming is also an advantage that electric razors have that traditional razors don’t – if you’re simply looking to trim your facial hair instead of shaving it entirely, an electric razor allows you to do this with ease.

Types of Electric Razors
There are at least two types of electric razors – foil and rotary. There are a few notable differences about them that you should keep in mind when choosing between the two.

• Rotary Shaver – They are best used if your facial skin is regular or tough. For instance, if you’re already a bit older or have been shaving for a while, rotary shavers should suit you just fine. They are also good for reaching areas such as your chin or neck, which can often be difficult.

Essentially, they are ideal for men with thick or long facial hair and don’t plan on shaving every day.

• Foil – Foil shavers are what give you a close shave, which makes it ideal for men who need that clean-shaven appearance in the office setting every day.

Foil electric razors should also be a must-have if your skin is sensitive and you have finer hair. This is because they are designed with a thinner layer of metal that covers the actual blades themselves, which results in a gentle shave.

How to Use Them
Using electric razors can be really easy and can actually give you a closer shave than you would using a regular cartridge or disposable razor – all you need is to plug it in or insert the necessary batteries, and you’re good to start shaving.

Washing your face before using the razor may not be necessary, but it does help to smoothen your facial hair and your beard, which in turn helps to give you a closer, cleaner, and smoother shave. Depending on where your facial hair is growing, you may have to shave along or against the grain.

Once you’re done, clean your electric razor regularly (though you may need to remove the batteries or unplug the razor before running water through the blades to get the hairs out) and keep the metal pieces between the cutter and the screen lubricated.

How to Keep Your Straight Razor Sharp in 4 Easy Steps

Using a straight razor is equally as daring as it is rewarding, and keeping it sharp not only keeps it safe (as dull blades can often result in a more dangerous and painful shave for your face), but it also ensures that it will last you for a long time.

To keep your straight razor in its peak condition, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

Step 1. Invest in a quality razor. This is the first step to making sure that your razor will last you a long time. Flimsy blades that aren’t made well are likely to have burrs after a few shaves that may end up injuring you if you’re not careful.

Step 2. Dry the razor after each use. Even carbon steel will eventually rust when left over time, and this process can be made faster when exposed to water. Be sure to dry the razor with a clean cloth after use before folding it back on itself.

Step 3. Remember to strop your blade. While you don’t have to strop your blade every time you shave, it does help to keep the edge sharp and safe to use. The strop often has two sides: a leather side and a canvas side, and is used to help smooth out the edges and keep the shaving process comfortable.

Step 4. Hone your blade. You can choose to invest in a quality four-thousand/eight-thousand grit whetstone from your nearest hardware store. Ceramic stones are also a viable way to hone your blade and keep the edge from developing burrs that could be damaging on the next shave.

Parts of a Straight Razor
There are two main parts to a straight razor that you should keep in mind: the blade and the handle. They are connected to each other by a pivot pin.

The blade itself is composed of the following parts: head, point, edge, back, shoulder, heel, shank, tang, and tail/toe. All these define how the blade should be held in your hand that you can adjust your grip on.

Types of Straight Razor Points
Blades are categorized according to point, type, or nose, such as the following:

• Square – Used for precise shaving in small areas
• Round – The point profile is semicircular; more forgiving and is recommended for new users
• French point – The point profile resembles a quarter circle but ends in a point with a sharp angled curve, and is often used to help shave spots
• Spanish point – The point profile has a rounded tip that is connected to its spine via a concave arch
• Barber’s notch – Similar to the Spanish point, but has a larger rounded tip and a smaller concave arch

5 Things You Should Clean Once a Week at Home

Perhaps, you already knew what you should clean everyday at home. Fortunately, there are a few things that require less of your attention. Here are seven things you can do on a weekly basis when it comes to keeping your home clean.

Kitchen Appliances
Your fridge, stove and other kitchen appliances may not look obviously dirty, but it’s likely covered in things that aren’t very visible from a distance. Your microwave and stove are likely covered in food bits and fingerprints that may slowly build up into grime if not regularly cleaned. To avoid that annoying build up, wipe them clean with disinfectant wipes or a clean sponge at least once a week.

Laundry
Yes, we know. It is everybody’s least favourite household chore—but it needs to get done. To make the chore easier (and faster!), get the family to pitch in. Keep separate baskets for light light-colored and dark-colored clothing, and ask everyone to place their laundry in the appropriate bins every time. That way, one step is already off the list before you even actually start tackling them.

Shower and Tub
These constantly warm and wet places are breeding grounds for scum and mildew when not cleaned regularly. So, make sure to make some time every week to help your shower and tub resist stains. After washing, we recommend running a squeegee over the surfaces to keep it dry while it’s not yet in use.

Bathroom Surfaces
This includes the counters, mirrors and the sink. Why? Let’s just say, all thanks to your toilet, your bathroom is constantly nasty. If you leave your toilet lid up, germs and bacteria can spray up to six feet every time you flush the toilet. So, keep the toilet lid down after every use, then clean and disinfect surfaces at least once a week to keep your bathroom sanitary.

Dusty Furniture
Dust build-up does not only look bad, it can also be potentially damaging to your furniture. Dust can cause fine scratches to surfaces if something rubs against it. When cleaning, do not just use dry cloth since it only moves the dust around. Use a furniture polish, spray cleaner or water to dampen your duster or cloth.

Whether you choose to tackle all these things on a Sunday or assign one for each day of the week, these chores are totally manageable for you and your family.

5 Most Famous Streets in the World

Each tourist attraction offers a unique view and meaning to people. The same thing applies to the thousand of streets in the world that claim to be among the most famous in the world.

Here are five world-famous streets that are frequently photographed and visited by tourists for different reasons.

1. Las Vegas Strip
The gambling capital of the world, sits in the middle of the southern Nevada desert. Casinos are everywhere in Las Vegas, but it is in this strip stretching along Las Vegas Boulevard South where most of the city’s casinos can be found. The strip features gigantic casino hotels, decorated with lavish lights and details to mimic a fantasy-like atmosphere.

2. Champs-Elysées
However, for romantic lights and attractions, Paris’ Champs-Elysées beats the previous strip. This famous avenue attracts tourists, particularly honeymooners, because of its beautiful night lights and chic little shops and cafes located throughout area. The western end of the popular street leads to the Arc de Triomphe, which is another popular spot wherein visitors can climb for a breathtaking view of the Champs-Elysées.

3. Orchard Road
Orchard Road is the world-famous shopping district in Singapore. Named after the orchard of fruits that the street led to, Orchard Road is decked with malls, upscale restaurants, cafes, hotels and nightclubs. During the holiday season, the street becomes a Christmas venue with its over the top lights and decorations, with reindeers on palm trees and gingerbread houses covered in fake snow.

4. Abbey Road
If you’re a The Beatles fan, you’re probably familiar with their iconic album cover where George, Ringo, Paul and John cross a pedestrian. That pedestrian is located at London’s Abbey Road, which happened to be the album’s name as well. Because of it being their best-selling album—and the last one they had before disbanding—the street became a world-famous attraction where people come here to recreate their own version of Abbey Road album.

5. Hollywood Walk of Fame
Who doesn’t know the Hollywood Walk of Fame? This landmark in Los Angeles immortalizes the stars of Hollywood by embedding their names in pink star plaques in charcoal terrazzo squares along the walkway of the boulevard. Over 2,400 actors, musicians, directors, producers and other significant names in the entertainment industry have been commemorated in this famous avenue.

Have you been to any of these world-renowned streets? If not, where would you wish to go first?