Sherrie Carpenter. Furniture. November 10th , 2017.
Among the many different materials for outdoor furniture which can be farmed from a natural source are straw, bamboo, cane, and of course rattan, as well as certain types of reeds. These are all materials which have been used extensively throughout the centuries to make not only furniture, but also wicker baskets and other accessories, a trend which also continues to this day.
Synthetic Rattan Furniture: Synthetic materials are usually regarded with suspicion when it comes to environmental sustainability, even when, as with rattan furniture, this is one of the main selling points employed by manufacturers and retailers.
Wood veneers can be difficult to match. It is possible to buy new veneer strips, but they are generally thinner than the old hand-sawn veneers and do not always match in colour. It often pays to go to an auction to look for a broken oddment of furniture that has suitable veneers. To remove a veneer from its backing, first clean off any old polish with white spirit and carefully clean the varnish or wax. Place a damp cloth over the cleaned strip and press with a fairly hot iron. Keep the cloth damp. This melts the Scotch glue holding down the veneer, which can then be peeled off. The same technique is used to raise small areas on the antique piece, but use a soldering iron instead of an iron. Wipe all traces of glue while it is still warm. Dampen the veneer and flatten it between two pieces of wood for about 24 hours before use. Do not let it dry completely, for veneers must be re-laid while still damp and pliable. The replacement veneer should be slightly thicker than the existing one, to allow for sanding. Stick the new strip down with Scotch glue and apply a weight or clamp until the glue has completely set. Wax and polish to match the existing finish.
The oversize pieces work well in large open settings. You can easily imagine over-sized sofas and chairs in a hotel lobby, but they can just as easily be used in a very large living room. Choosing pieces that work well in your environment is really a matter of taste. Picking items that fit nicely into your home or business setting may take a bit of browsing, but finding items that make you feel good, and that look good in your space, is really what it's all about.
Finding suitable replacement materials for inlay and boulle antiques is an even greater problem. They tend to use more complex and varied materials. Antique and second-hand shops often have boxes containing suitable oddments and it is worth searching through them to find matching pieces. As a last resort, missing pieces of inlay can be built up with synthetic resins or wax, coloured to match. If boulle has lifted seriously or is bent, leave the repair to an expert restorer; but if the lifting is only slight, carefully remove the section and scrape clean all the dirt. Stick with an epoxy resin adhesive and weight it down until the glue has dried.
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