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Making wood look good - 5 tips for home improvement

When working with wood to improve your home, it is always important to do a little bit of research

Posted in Restoration over 6 years ago, 0 replies

When working with wood to improve your home, it is always important to do a little bit of research before getting stuck in.

Whether you will be using a jiffy hanger, lathe, router or just your trusty Bosch drill, there are plenty of ways to ensure that you get the finish you are after and that your wood looks good. Here are five home improvement tips to get you started:

1. Sanding down a wooden floor



Depending on the condition of the surface you are sanding, you will need at least two sanding runs, and your floor may require up to four runs. Sanding machines are widely available for hire, but be aware of the surface you are sanding. Mosaic parquet and square parquet floors must be sanded diagonally across the grain, whereas floorboard flooring should be sanded parallel to the floorboards’ run. Never stop or change direction during sanding. You should sand the corners and edges of a room just before your last sanding run, using edge and corner sanding machines. To do this, you need to initially use a disc with a grit of 40 and then a finer sanding disc with a grit of 100.

2. Sealing a sanded wooden floor



The sealing varnish should be applied in uniform strokes. If you work away from the light source, it will make it easier to spot any flaws in your work. After about two hours you can perform intermediate sanding by hand or using a hand sander with a grit of 120. After carefully cleaning the floor, a second coat of varnish can be applied.

3. Restoring the grain of furniture you have stripped



After an application of paint stripper and some scrubbing with wire wool, you will not only have stripped down your furniture but also left the wood underneath bruised and battered. If you use a lint-free cloth, such as a tack cloth, to gently apply a bit of white spirit, you can get rid of any dust from the sanding and neutralise the paint stripper – without this, any new finish you apply may be compromised. Now take some wood restorer and, using a clean lint-free cloth, apply it to the wood in a circular motion to help to restore the grain and erase any sanding marks.

4. Fixing a DIY picture frame together



Once you have cut your wood using a mitre saw, make sure you use glue first to hold your four pieces together and then strengthen your frame by using special corner-angled staples – it is not only an easier way to secure your frame but gives a much stronger hold too.

5. Further picture frame tips and ideas



Making a frame with raw or irregular pieces of wood will give a dramatic effect. Small images can look stunning in bold, thick frames. The frame can complement the picture displayed – for instance, mounting shells on a driftwood frame really brings that coastal image to life. Cover your wood in newspaper or magazines for a pop-art look. Wooden frames can be given a touch of glamour by adding some mirror pieces or metallic paint. Likewise, you can give your frame an antique look by applying limewash or using some simple techniques to age wood.
Photo of Tony.

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