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Basic Principles- Before You Start

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Discover some good practices to adopt when renovating furniture to stay safe and ensure the best results from your work!

Once you've set everything up, you're ready to get to work! Take a look at the next chapter in our Furniture Restoration program for some simple refurbishing techniques

For your safety, it's important that your work environment, work post and clothing are suitable for your project and are completely safe. Learn some best practices to follow by watching this short tutorial.


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Basic Principles- Before You Start

In this video, you will learn some basic rules of thumb to bear in mind on setting up, safety and key methods, and before starting work on a piece of furniture.

There are four sections in this video, which we will explain to you.

Section 1: The Work Environment

You can work either outside or inside, bearing these points in mind:

The temperature should be moderate, somewhere between 18 and 28 degrees celsius.

Avoid exposing furniture to direct sunlight so as not to alter pieces or dry out too quickly any product used

Be sure to stay sheltered from any winds or draughts to avoid dust sticking to your furniture.

Be especially careful if you're using varnish or paint.

You should also make sure you work in a well-ventilated place, if you're using toxic products such as ammonia or a hydrocarbon solvant.

Be sure to check the label of the product you're using- the pictograms will indicate the possible hazards

Finally, an electric socket or water source can be useful for many renovation projects.

Check that they are accessible when choosing your workplace.

Section 2: Setting up your work post

Make sure your piece is at a comfortable height to work with, around shoulder level.

To do this, you may want to put it on a workbench, for example.

This will let you work accurately and comfortably.

Choose a well-lit room so that you can see your work clearly.

Section 3: Clothing

Always wear safety shoes and work clothes you don't mind getting dirty.

If you're working with toxic products or dangerous tools, you should wear one or all of the following:


Safety shoes,

A protective mask,

Protective glasses,

Protective gloves,

And ear defenders.

Section 4: Principles to follow

First principle.

Reclaimed furniture is often dusty.

Start by dusting your piece with a feather duster or soft-bristled brush.

Second principle, remove any detachable pieces to work on them separately.

Third principle, work systematically, zone by zone, rather than across the whole piece at once.

This will help prevent you from losing accuracy by covering large areas.

Fourth principle, work in the direction of the woodgrain, following the line of the wood.

In this example, you should use an up and down movement.

Working against the grain means not following the line of the woodgrain, as you see here.

If you go against the grain, you risk removing or lifting the wood fibres.

This will render the surface rough and hard to work with and you will damage the wood.

Now you know how to prepare yourself and your workplace properly for renovating furniture.


Next video

Sikana - Re-Gluing Two Flat Pieces Together
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