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Tips to Clean and Protect Your Wood Furniture

  
  
  
  
  
  
Tips to Clean and Protect Your Wood Furniture

Follow these simple suggestions to make sure your wood looks beautiful and new for years to come!

Clean with warm water and dish soap
Don’t be afraid of using water to clean furniture. Just make sure not to soak it, as excess water can cause warping. Damp soft clothes, paper towels and toothbrushes are easy and convenient cleaning tools. Dry off any residual moisture when you are finished.

Dust frequently
Dust fine furniture with a lamb’s wool duster, barely damp cotton cleaning cloth or microfiber duster. Dusting removes particles that can scratch the wood’s surface and cause oily buildup on wood surfaces. Avoid using a feather duster, as broken quills can scratch delicate finishes.

Keep wood out of the sun
Summer rays may be a great way for people to get a tan, but they can cause fading and cracking in wood. Try to keep furniture out of the direct sun to extend the life of the finish.

Remove metal hardware to polish
Buffing the knobs and other hardware is a great way to bring a new shine to the piece of furniture. To eliminate the risk of damaging the wood, remove the hardware first, keeping careful track of where each item came from. After you’re finished polishing, carefully reinstall each one, making sure you don’t scratch the wood in the process.

Damaged furniture can be fixed
Sometimes wood wears, even when following all the rules for cleaning and maintenance. Repairing a damaged piece of furniture can seem like a daunting task, but JC Wood has experience with many types of furniture. Plus, we always use materials similar to the original, so the repair is as inconspicuous as possible.

Do you have any wood maintenance tips that work for you?

Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

When to Reupholster vs Replace

  
  
  
  
  
  
pic reupholester

Your favorite pieces of furniture receive a lot of wear over time. If you have a unique item that you love and fits well in its space, reupholstering is an option to give it new life. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision.

Quality Construction
High quality pieces of furniture with a good underlying structure are your best bet for reupholstering. Solid wood construction, usually indicated by a hefty weight, means the furniture will stand up over longer periods of time. Another way to test the quality of furniture is to push your sofa or chair from the back and feel for excessive give. Pick up a leg and see if the frame wobbles. If so, these might be signs that more than just a simple reupholstery is needed to restore the item.

Older pieces of furniture are usually built with higher quality woods and techniques. If it were going to fall apart, it would definitely show signs of wear within 10 or 15 years.

Fabric Quantity and Quality
Fabric costs can be a large portion of the overall reupholstery cost. The amount of fabric you need will depend on the piece of furniture. Patterns require more fabric than solid colors in order to match the print at the seams. The number of cushions, pillows and the presence of a skirt will also come into play. JC Wood can provide an estimate of the amount of material needed by examining a piece of furniture.

The quality of the fabric can also play a role in determining the cost of a project. Once you have an estimate of the amount of material you’ll need, you can start to get a feel for what your total fabric cost will be.

After identifying a piece of furniture you want to reupholster, JC Wood’s technicians can restore it to the original look or provide thousands of options to update the piece.

Have you ever had a piece of furniture reupholstered? Let us know your comments!

Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more
about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

The Right Door Can Make All the Difference

  
  
  
  
  
  

You only have one chance to make a first impression, and for people seeing your home, that impression occurs at the front door. Here are a few reasons why updating your door is a good investment.

Increase Your Curb Appeal and Add Value to Your Home
With more and more buyers browsing photos online, the appearance of your home is more important than ever. Improving the exterior of your home has long been a simple and cost effective way to increase its value on the market. A refinished front door or garage door has a big impact on adding curb appeal and attracting prospective buyers.

Front doors can also serve as a preview for the décor of the rest of the house. The door helps give people an idea about what to expect inside and whether or not they’d be interested in seeing more.

In addition to drawing people in, the front of the house is the last thing people will see as they leave, and a beautiful door will leave a positive impression lingering in a prospective buyer’s mind.

Enjoy Coming Home
Even if you are not selling your home, you could still benefit from having a welcoming entryway. A pleasant door and doorway helps welcome visitors and creates a warm and welcoming environment. Coming home after a long day to a beautiful door can also be the perfect way to put you at ease and let you know you’re home.

Save Money
Over time, UV light and weather damage wears down the finish of your door and can cause the wood to discolor and crack. This process could lead to discarding wood doors and replacing them with either a costly new door or a cheaper inferior model. However, with occasional refinishing, the door will last for years and always look like new.

Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

We Are Pleased To Announce JC Wood Has Earned The Angie’s List Super Service Award

  
  
  
  
  
  

About the Award

  • Only 5% of companies that JC Wood competes
    with in Chicago earn this award
  • It reflects JC Wood’s onsistently excellent
    customer service
  • Only companies with an “A” rating in customer
    evaluations are eligible

Learn More

JC Wood also has received an A+ rating
from The Better Business Bureau.

Learn More

See Our List of Offerings


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Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

Outdoor Furniture

  
  
  
  
  
  

pic outdoor4 30 It seemed like it was never going to happen, but spring has finally arrived. You want to be relaxing on your porch or cooking out with friends, but is your outdoor furniture as ready as you are? Here are a few tips to make sure your outdoor tables and chairs are barbeque ready.

Cleaning
Your furniture has accumulated a decent amount of dirt, even if it was stored inside all winter. A simple wipe down with a damp rag will get rid of a lot of the loose dirt. For more intense stains, using a sponge or soft bristle brush with warm water and dishwasher detergent will get the job done. Add about ½ a cup of detergent for every gallon of water. Be careful not to oversaturated wood with water though. If the wood absorbs too much water it will swell, which can cause warping as it dries. Too much moisture in the wood can also make it a habitat for fungus and mold growth, a further reason to be cautious when cleaning.

Refinishing and Protection
Out in the elements, your furniture will be exposed to water and dirt that can cause damage. A finish will help seal off the wood and protect it from many of these unavoidable forces. In addition, refinishing with protective products can be a great way to prevent future issues, such as warping and serious stains. Refinishing can also be a great opportunity to restore a piece of furniture or provide a new look if you’re considering redoing your patio space.

Consider a Canopy
During spring and summer months your outdoor furniture is going to have plenty of sun exposure. Prolonged sun exposure can damage the finish, leaving it cracked and scale-like, similar to an alligator’s skin. Making matters worse, UV light can not only damage your finish, but also penetrates it and affect the wood itself. Once the UV light reaches the wood, bleaching will occur, lightening the color of the furniture. There are a few ways to avoid this type of damage. Tablecloths can help, but a canopy will provide both shade and protection.

Let us know in the comments how you store your outdoor furniture for winter and when you plan on getting it out for the spring!

Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

Selling Your House? Kitchen Facelifts Give an Excellent Return on Investment

  
  
  
  
  
  

If you’re thinking about selling your house and are trying to decide what projects will increase it’s value, there are a couple of important rules to keep in mind to make sure you get your money’s worth.

1. Don’t spend more than you can get back

It seems simple enough, but renovating a house that you intend to stay in for 20 years is very different from renovating to increase resale value. While you may want a new marble floor, it’s important to know your market and to understand if you’ll be able to recoup the cost. Often smaller, very visible projects make the biggest impact in ROI.

2. Make kitchens and bathrooms a priority

Homebuyers tend to penalize a house’s value if they perceive the kitchen and bathroom to be subpar. This doesn’t mean you need to tear them out and start from scratch though. Some small touches can make a big difference. For instance, painting or refinishing your kitchen cabinets is a relatively inexpensive way to make a big difference. Clean, neutral colors and stains are often the best choice for attracting new buyers.

3. Refurbish over replacement

When preparing to sell your home, refurbishing the items already in place will almost always be the more inexpensive option. Changes such as painting walls, refinishing floors, and fixing dings will allow you to stretch your dollar further and recoup your expenses when it comes time to sell your home.

4. Update refurbish your entryway and garage doors.

We have all heard about a home having curb appeal. Making a good first impression is very important.  Whether you need to touch up or refinish this is a good investment.

 

J C Wood would be happy to give you a free estimate on any of the above items to help you maximize your home’s value.

Have you recently sold your home? What changes did you make to get ready to put it on the market? Let us know in the comments if you saw a good ROI.

Touch Up for the Holiday Season

  
  
  
  
  
  

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The Holidays are a time for gathering together and hosting family and friends who may not see your home often. Don’t let nicks, gouges and wobbly legs detract from your beautiful home. It is the perfect time to take advantage of an in-home touch-up.

What is a touch up?
The term ‘touch-up’ can be used to describe the repairing of scratches, damaged wood, stains, water, heat and more. Depending on the extent of the damage, there are generally three stages of repairs that can be carried out: touch up, reconditioning or refinishing.

Touch up work is usually sufficient to repair minor damages such as scratches, chips or abrasions on most types of material including wood, wood laminates, Formica, fiberglass, leather or floors.

Missing Finish or Color
Many people are tempted to try touch-up markers sold in stores, but most don’t work very well. The color doesn’t match, and it will wipe away when dusting or polishing.

Almost any piece that is missing finish or color can be fixed while maintaining the material’s integrity. It really only depends on the size of the blemish. The ability to blend a color to match the original depends on having a good eye for color, an artist’s touch and an understanding of the original finish’s chemistry.

After the technician inspects the piece, he will discuss with you the type of materials to use and how visible the repair will be after. A general goal to strive for is the “six foot rule,” meaning that a repair should be hard to spot when standing six feet away.

Reconditioning
If stains are built up and stubborn or when some of the finish has worn away and become dull, reconditioning may be the best choice. This allows you to maintain the material’s original quality without stripping off its existing finishing layer.

If you’re considering reconditioning a piece, make sure to consult with a professional or do plenty of homework to make sure you get the best out of your furniture.

Refinish
Sometimes furniture is damaged so severely that your best option is to completely refinish it. The original finish of the wood will be stripped away and a new finish will be applied to make it look brand new. Refinishing jobs cost more than reconditioning and touch ups but can bring back a piece’s original luster or completely change its look.

Call or email us to receive a free copy of our wood care recommendations or to learn more about how we can help bring new life to your furniture

Top 10 Home Furnishing and Decorating Trends for 2014

  
  
  
  
  
  

As 2014 approaches, designers already have a good feel for what trends are going to be popular in the new year. Knowing current styles is a great way to keep your furniture and design from feeling dated. Whether you’re tackling a new project or just freshening up a room, here are the top trends for 2014.

10. Yellow Gives Any Room A Pop

While lighter blues and teals have been the trendy color for 2013, yellow is on the way in. Yellow walls, furniture or accents give a bolder, happier look to make people feel energized and happier.

9. Circular Everything

Circular furniture, lights, mirrors and more are showing up in 2014. Also popular is rearranging your room with the furniture facing each other to invite conversation.

8. Patterns Are Making a Comeback

The bolder the better for 2014. Moving away from floral and bird prints, it’s time to dust off granny’s old curtains, they’re back in style. Also, reupholstering furniture with bold patterns is a great way to bring new life to a piece that may otherwise look dated.

7. Mix Your Materials

Stone with wood, marble with concrete, mixing the materials of your furniture and accessories can be a fun way to accentuate the craftsmanship instead of blending it in. Try moving furniture around to different rooms and see what unexpected combinations you like.

6. Tailored Looks for Upholstery

Tight, clean upholstery is the hot look for 2014. To go along with those clean lines, pleats around footstools and the skirts of couches will give your furniture character that will stay in style well past next year.

5. White Is Always Right

Just like in 2013, you can’t go wrong with white. White walls, furniture, accents are always a great place to start with a room. A splash of color or some beautiful, dark wood are sure to pop against this clean, neutral backdrop.

4. Go Green!

We’re not just talking about recycling here. Plants can add a new dimension to any room and look great paired with some rustic wood furniture.

3. Back To The Future

Repurposed and retro furniture continues to be in style this year. In a disposable culture, saving and refinishing old items makes a strong statement. It might be time to start rummaging through the attic again!

2. Texture

In our increasing digital world, designers have become more and more aware of the items that touch our skin. Refinishing old tables, chairs and other items of furniture is a great way to bring a natural feel into your home. Soft fabrics and textured tiles are two other ways to focus on feeling.

1. Make It Personal

Not that personality is ever out of style, but 2014 brings a new focus to the small things that make our house a home. Focus on items that are conversation starters or that bring you fond memories. Whether it’s travel photos or grandma’s old end table, make any space your own.

 

 

Whether you’re trying out some of 2014’s decorating trends or working on something more personal, JC Wood has the experience repairing and refinishing furniture to freshen up any room in your house. Call us today to see how we can help you set next year’s fashion trend.

Which finish is best for your furniture?

  
  
  
  
  
  

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Refinishing is a great way to update a piece of furniture. Whether you have something you’d like to restore, or you just made a great purchase at a garage sale or flea market, JC Wood can refinish it for a bright, new look or give it a cool, Pinterest-ready makeover.

Finishes have two purposes: protect the wood and bring out its beauty. Depending on the type of wood, the look you want, and the required durability, some finishes may fit your needs better than others. For example, a lacquer might be best on surfaces that might encounter spills while shellacs aren’t as durable but match antique finishes quite well.

Choosing the right finish can be a daunting task. The following chart should help you start thinking about which finish is best for any furniture you’re restoring.

Finish

Look

Pros and Cons

Best Uses

Wax

Slight shine

  • Highlights the natural color of the wood

  • Less durable than oil based finishes

  • May not protect against scratches

  • Close grained, natural wood furniture

Lacquer

Deep, rich appearance

  • More durable than wax

  • Moderate water resistance

  • Sensitive to heat and other solvents

  • May yellow over time

  • Darker woods

Shellac

Very fine, mellow finish

  • Highlights the natural grain of the wood

  • Polishes extremely well

  • Far less durable than lacquer

  • Furniture and wood display pieces

Water Based

Clear, light finish

  • Tough and scratch resistant

  • Will not yellow over time

  • Furniture that is lighter in color and exposed to heavy sunlight

Varnish

Clear finish, darkens the wood slightly

  • Widely regarded as the most durable wood finishing product

  • Longest lasting wood finish

  • Resistant to heat, abrasion, water and other chemicals

  • Also referred to as polyurethane

  • As a topcoat over worn finishes

  • Heavily used furniture like tables

Oil

Darker color similar to varnish

  • Provides a penetrating finish that hardens within the wood fibers, instead of creating a coat on top of the wood

  • Does not create a smooth surface film

  • Wood furniture that requires natural texture

Oil/Varnish Blends

Properties can fall anywhere between oil like and varnish like.

 

What are your experiences with finishes? Do you have something that would be a great refinishing candidate?

How Do I Choose the Right Refinishing Company?

  
  
  
  
  
  

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When faced with a refinishing project, choosing the right company to trust can be a daunting task. Are they licensed and insured to do this type of work? Do they adhere to EPA regulations? How will I know I’ll be satisfied with the end result?

A little research can go a long way to making sure you select the right company to complete your project.

Protect Your Investment

One of the first things you need to consider is insurance. Whether a project is taking place on-site or in their shop, it’s important that the company has sufficient liability and workman’s compensation insurance to protect you from unforeseen and potentially catastrophic costs.

Similarly, it’s important to know if the refinishing company is licensed and bonded. Today, some refinishers work at bargain rates without a shop. But, if something goes wrong or you have a warranty problem, they’re ghosts.

Check References

Once you’ve established that a company is insured and licensed, a great way to decide if they’re right for you is to visit their shop or check references. At their shop you can see ongoing projects and determine whether your furniture will be protected. If you’re investigating an on-site job, ask for references from previous customers. Ask about the quality of the work and the professionalism of the workers and whether they cleaned up at the end of each day. Check online sources for reviews on sites like Yelp, Google+ and Angie’s List.

Standing Behind Their Work

Another factor that can influence your refinishing company choice is if they offer a warranty and for how long it is. Whether you’re taking on a major project or you want a favorite piece of furniture refinished, a warranty is an important way to guarantee you’ll be satisfied with the results over time.

High Quality Materials

Finally, a worker is only as good as his tools. The materials that are used on your furniture greatly contribute to the quality and longevity of the finish. Make sure the company you choose is using quality, name brand materials on your pieces to ensure the best results. It’s also important that companies follow the latest EPA regulations to the finished product is free of harmful chemicals.

JC Wood vs. The Competition

How does JC Wood stack up to the competition? With $2,000,000 in liability insurance and $500,000 in workman’s compensation insurance, we make sure you and your furniture are protected from accidents and damage. We are licensed and bonded in Addison, IL and maintain a 8,000 ft2 plant that you can visit. Our 25 years in business and our reliance on only name brand materials allow us to offer a 1 year warranty against defects in material and workmanship. Call us for more information or for references.

With the right company, refinishing projects are a great way to bring new life to tired wood. If you have a project you’re considering, please contact us today!

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