Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Soggy sofa? We can help!

Don’t settle with your furniture looking slouchy and old! New life can be brought to your piece by simply replacing the foam and padding. A common problem of misshaped and uncomfortable cushions can be addressed by simply replacing the original lower quality cushions with heavier weight foam and proper padding giving you 15 -20 years of comfort.

Yes!    This can typically be done without reupholstering your item!

Foam Facts
  • Typically two numbers are referenced in identifying and referencing foam
    • The first number relates to the density or weight per cubic foot.
      • A lower quality foam or furniture industry foam typically weighs 1.5 lbs -2.0 lbs per cubic foot. This lower quality foam will look and feel great for an estimate 3-5 years and will then lose its comfort and become misshaped.
      • A high quality foam is Finish Pros standard. This foam is heavier in weight at 2.5lbs-2.8lbs per cubic foot. This foam will hold its comfort and shape for 15-20 years
    • The second number related to the firmness and is referred to as compression in the furniture industry
      • an example of this is a very firm cushion may have a compression level of 50lbs, a medium firm cushion may have a compression level of 34lbs and a super soft cushion may have a compression level of just 16lbs
  • Foam cushions are typically feature additional padding with synthetic batting called poly dacron or encased in a down wrapped envelope. Upholsterers will typically wrap cushions in order to achieve a crown or round effect.
  • Spring Down cushions have light weight steel springs as a core and are boxed on all sides and sandwiched in a down filled muslin pouch

A great sitting piece of furniture is different for each person. Understanding where and who is sitting in the furniture is extremely important. Many new sofas are made with ultra thick cushions measure in excess of 6” thick. This can become problematic for individuals with back problems or the elderly. In these instances making the cushions thinner may drastically alter the appearance of the furniture or make the seat sit too low. Instead of reducing the thickness of the cushion I have combined different types of foam to achieve the perfect sit. An example would be replacing the foam in an 8” thick cushion using a firm 70lb foam topped with a 31lb medium firmness foam.

A down feather look look can be achieved without the duck! Many clients have requested a soft plush feel but didn't want the hassle of constantly re-fluffing or feather constantly poking out of the cushions. This can be achieved by using synthetic pilled poly dacron that will give a similar feel to down.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Do YOU use furniture polish?

While most people have been led to believe that using a spray wax product on your furniture is the best, it actually is the worse thing to use. The reason is, every time you spray the wax on your furniture you add a thin layer of wax that makes it very difficult to clean and maintain. Wax is also very susceptible to water and chemicals.  

You should ideally dust your furniture routinely using  a soft, clean cloth, like an old t-shirt. I like to spritz a little water onto the cloth so that the moisture will attract the dust. If you have heavy dust on your furniture you should wipe in the direction of the grain and then fold the cloth to a fresh area so that the dust will not scratch the surface. This process will remove lint, dust, or grease in most situations. You may also add a little mild soap to your spritzer if you need to clean the surface more. Remove any soapy residue with a clean damp cloth. Do not leave water residue on your furniture. You can lightly buff using a soft cloth as the final step.    

Most fine furniture is finished using solvent based products. Therefore care must be taken to not use solvent based products on your furniture as they can quickly destroy a finish.  A sample of things that should be kept off fine furniture are nail polish remover, hair products, perfumes, and products containing solvents, such as acetone, lacquer thinners and alcohol for furniture finished in shellac. If a spill does occur it is very important to remove immediately in a blotting fashion.  

When possible it is best to use trivets, hot pan pads, table cloths, place mats, and coasters. You should never place a hot pan or dish directly on fine furniture as it can quickly damage the surface. Water condensation that is left on the table can also lead to white marks in the finish where moisture gets trapped creating the white haze.     

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Custom Slip Covers

Did you know Finish Pros can make custom slip covers?  What a great way to instantly transform a room in your house.  We can design a slip cover that works with any decor style, whether you prefer a clean modern look, traditional or shabby chic.  And a slip cover can even give a whole new meaning to a room's decor!  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Does refinishing a family heirloom decrease it's value?

A finish on a piece of wooden furniture is intended to protect the wood surface from damage and to enhance the beauty of the piece. If an item is lacking a good finish, the environment can adversely affect the wood.
So, the short answer to this question is NO, refinishing a piece of furniture does NOT decrease the piece’s value… but there are a few circumstances that need to be considered.
1)   Is your furniture item the first of its kind? Is it considered "period furniture"? An example would be a federal secretary cabinet that was made in the late 1700's or a later reproduction made in the 1870's.   Note:  Just because an item is an antique (over 100 years old) doesn't make it a period piece.
Instead of refinishing a period piece, Finish Pros recommends preserving it to prevent further damage.  Another option is to  restore the period piece while carefully documenting the steps taken so that the methods can be reversed if need be.  For example, if a veneer piece is jagged along the edges, we can use a fill that can be removed at a later date therefore not permanently affecting your family heirloom or the historical significance.

2)   Was the piece once owned by a historically significant person or from a historical location?
In this instance, refinishing an item that was once owned by Thomas Jefferson, Amelia Earhart or in a Norman Rockwell painting should be addressed on a case by case basis. Our team would love to know the stories behind you family heirloom and help with the furniture restoration techniques are best suited to retain the historical significance.

3)   Did a notable cabinetmaker, designer or craftsman make the piece?
In cases such as these, we recommend restoring the piece of furniture instead of refinishing it.  That means that the old finish is not removed but can be cleaned, waxed or even top coated. Keeping the original finish is critical to maintaining the value of the piece.  Gustuv Stickley was a noted furniture designer and manufacturer of fine arts and crafts style furniture in the early 20th century. Original Stickley furniture retaining an original finish demands premium prices from collectors. However if a Stickley item must be refinished, then appropriate stain tones, finishing products and techniques should be used.  At Finish Pros, our experts have decades of experience in antique furniture restoration that allow us to identify your piece of furniture’s history.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fabric Friday!

We got the new fabrics in from Greenhouse today…..there are so many pastels and metallics!   I couldn’t believe how durable some of them were, which relates directly to the pet-friendly post from last week.  . The pastels would look awesome in the winter and for the holidays!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gooseneck Rockers restored

During the 1700s, artisans created the Gooseneck rocking chair as a comfortable but elegant version of the rocking chair. They often have leather upholstery and brass accents.  These chairs became popular in the 19th century. They have become one of our most popular items to refinish at Finish Pros and we thoroughly enjoy the process of bringing them back to life.

Gooseneck rockers BEFORE

Gooseneck rockers AFTER