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.)

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.

Ways to Celebrate Special Moments  

 

Singapore is busy and life here does not stop even when we are sleeping. Knowing this, we keep up by rushing all the time. There is nothing wrong to rush but sometimes, we need to realize that special moments are ignored.

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We have to pause for a while and enjoy special moments together with the people we love and care. After all, we can only bring memories with us. So, here are some ways to celebrate special moments:

  • Spending time with true friends: True friends are hard to find but if we find one or more, we are very lucky. Spending time with true friends is very relaxing and fulfilling. We should not rely on texting and emailing. We have to celebrate friendship every once in a while.
  • Savoring food with food buddies: Whether it is our partner, mother, father or sisters, savoring food with our buddies is the best feeling. Good food, good company – what could go wrong?

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  • Inspire and be inspired: There will come a time that we are stuck in a situation but there is always someone who helps us see things in a different light. We can help each other by fuelling our friends and be inspired in return.
  • Giving and receiving love: We have to know that love should be unconditional. If it is conditional, it is not love. Love, whether it is romantic or platonic is based on trust and mutual respect. If we have friends or partner who looks after our interests, does not try to control us and accepts us for what we are, we have to celebrate it through little ways. We can for instance invite them for dinner or watch a movie. Simple actions mean a lot.  

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How to Manage Holiday Spending

This is the season to be jolly so they say. Big discounts and sales are happening in every store here. The treats will continue until early next year so it is hard to resist. Your urge to buy or spend is imminent and when this is over, you will realize that you overdid it.

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Unfortunately, when you realize that you overdid it, there is no turning back. You cannot just return all the things that you have purchased because you have no money left. With this, it is very crucial that you learn how to manage your holiday spending especially here in Singapore. There a lot of things that you can do if you learn how to control yourself first.

After you learn self-control, the rest will be easy to resist and manage. So, here are some ideas and tips that you can consider to manage your holiday spending:

  • Save in advance: Saving in advance sounds simple but it is the other way around. There are people who are having difficulty saving. You have to discipline yourself because it can benefit you and your finances at the end of the day. Saving in advance means buying presents and other things but you still have enough for the next year.
  • Moonlight: If you think your work cannot sustain the bulk of presents that you will give, you can try moonlighting. You have to look for other part-time jobs for extra income.

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  • Draw names: Giving presents is not the essence of the holiday. It is about celebrating with the family. So, if you have a long list and you cannot afford to give presents to them, you can consider giving them simple yet heart-felt things. If you want you can prioritize and draw names which matter the most to you.
  • Online shopping: There are people who consider online shopping because they cannot be seduced by other products they do not see. If you do not want to be tempted, you have to go for online shopping and just stick to your list. However, you have to be mindful of the shipping charges.

Ideally, you have budgeted and planned for the holidays but there are things that are just out of control. When this happens, you have to rely on your logic and do not let the sights of sales persuade you to spend more than your budget or plan. This is a challenge considering you are here in Singapore but it can be done. You just need to control your urges and live a stress-free holidays.

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