Simple Tricks to Improve and Preserve Your Furniture
Your furniture is more important than you may realize. It is an investment into the function and design of every room, and may even become a sentimental piece for the owner. However, time and use is sure to cause some wear and tear that will deteriorate your favorite furniture items. Here are a few simple tricks that will preserve and even improve your furniture so that it lasts for years to come!
Dirt and dust buildup or spills left uncleaned can actually do significant damage to any furniture over time. These particles can deteriorate the materials of your furniture to the point of staining, eating away at or fusing to the surfaces. Make sure you clean all your furniture routinely and thoroughly, even if it feels like there is nothing there to clean! Dust and wipe all surfaces (including the legs of the table or seat) with a solution appropriate to the furniture in question—this could be just a damp cloth, or it could be a solvent solution. In addition, immediately clean any spot issues like spills. The longer those sit, the more likely they are to have solidified to the point of damaging the furniture during their removal.
Change the Upholstery
The fabric used for chairs and sofas also naturally deteriorates over time, especially with frequent use! Those materials become thin, worn, and easily ripped. Plus, the filling or cushioning becomes matted down and uncomfortable to sit on. Switch out the upholstery of these furniture pieces! Reupholstery is a healthy change for the furniture that will extend its life, and is a chance to change up the style of the entire room if you wish. This is also a project that many find surprisingly easy to “DIY” (do it yourself)! Simply make sure you have all the necessary elements to replace and update, and enjoy the new look and feel of your favorite comfy seating.
Keep It Out of the Elements
That “wear and tear” that furniture sustains naturally is expedited if the piece sits outside or even near a window. As much as you can, keep your furniture out of the elements or find ways to protect it when it is inevitably exposed to such. Wood furniture is especially vulnerable to being warped in the rain or to grow mold from leftover moisture. Plus, wood furniture will fade if left in the sun for long periods of time. This is also true of fabric left in the sun—it can become bleached quickly and lose the vibrant colors that you love about it! Protect your wooden furniture and any fabric-covered pieces from these potentially detrimental elements by keeping them in shaded or covered areas, like under porch ceilings, or by keeping easily accessible coverings for stormy days. You might consider using those coverings to protect your furniture during long periods of time that you are away from home, so that they don’t continue getting harmful rays of sun or winds and rains in your absence while you aren’t there to enjoy the furniture anyway!
Store it Safely
If there is a piece of furniture that you love but do not have use for at the moment, store it safely. These are materials that you want looking as good as the day you stored them, even years later! Simply putting it in the attic or your storage unit leaves it susceptible to harm through accidents, pests, and more. Instead, take the time to research and investigate the spaces you may be storing your furniture and check for any potential leaks, infestations, and the amount of space available so that nothing is crammed in unsafely. Give the furniture a thorough cleaning. If possible, take the furniture apart so that you can store each piece more safely, reducing the risk of broken legs from weight or splintered bars from accidental shoving. If deconstruction isn’t an option, wrap the furniture in durable blankets, thick plastic coverings, or anything that will keep it well covered. Also if possible, keep furniture off the ground to protect it from flooding.
The hardware that holds your furniture together or allows for its use can be damaged over time as well. Upgrading your hardware is a small task that does an impressive job of keeping the furniture looking new! Door and drawer handles, drawer slides, shelving mounts, even down to the nuts and bolts holding everything together should be checked and considered for replacement. Reinforcing old furniture with new hardware will help prevent breaks and extend its lifetime!
Give it a Fresh Coat of Paint (or Sealant)
If your furniture has acquired some scratches or stains over the course of its lifetime, apply a fresh coat of paint to give the piece a brand new look. Refinishing furniture can completely transform the appearance and longevity of your piece. And like with reupholstery, this is also an opportunity for altering the aesthetic of your furniture through color changes that better match the aesthetic of the room it resides in! Or, if the original material is still acceptable, apply a new coat of sealant to protect it from potential damages in the future. This sealant can be as simple as a clear coat or as heavy-duty as a layer of lacquer to harden soft materials into nearly impenetrable surfaces.
Add Some Stylish Details
Finally, give your furniture a makeover through some stylish details. Add a subtle pattern or bold accent. Throw some accent pillows of different shapes or colors or textures onto your sofas and chairs. Paint a side table or dresser and use a stenciled pattern. Install a solid top (like glass panels, stone, or even mirrors) to your tables and shelves to draw attention to the piece as more than just a space for other decorations to sit on. Make it unique and make it yours! Recycle furniture you may otherwise find no use for through these exciting and creative additions to your space.
You don’t have to replace furniture through every year and every move. Treat them well, protect them well, and give furniture pieces a boost when they need one. With these methods, your furniture will last through years and years of use and design changes!
Read this next: How to Restore Old Metal Furniture
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