Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Olive Oil, White Vinegar, And Walnuts = Fabulous Wood Repair

 If you Pinterest, or follow all the things that are posted on Facebook like recipes and handy repair tips,  and  you wonder if they really work, I am here to testify that this concoction really, really, really works.  What concoction is that?  A combination of olive oil, white vinegar and the "meat" of walnuts.

I saw a before and after picture of a piece of furniture that this combo had been used on and it looked completely restored.  Well, the skeptic in me was all "yeah, right."  Our friends had rented a condominium that was in need of some good old TLC.  There were some scratches on the wood floors and the pantry door was just abominable.  You know, like no one had EVER wiped it off and it was totally black around the door handle with that gooey residue that happens when the finish starts to break down.  Ever have a piece of furniture that did that?  I have and the biggest dilemma is what will you do to fix it?

 First, Tonya scraped all the black, icky stuff off the door with a putty knife which took it almost down to the bare wood.  Uh oh.  The rest of the door was stained a dark brown color.  One of these things is not like the other.  Hmmmmm.  Now, what were we going to do?  Aha, here was my chance to try the magic concoction I had seen on Pinterest.  All I needed was some walnuts, olive oil, and white vinegar.  First, I rubbed the almost bare wood with the "meat" part of some English walnuts.  It is amazingly magical.  As the walnut began to disintegrate, it began to color the wood a darker color.  No way!  Yes, way!  It was so exciting.  I had made a jar of the magical concoction which is simply 3/4s of a  cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup white vinegar.  Put a lid on the jar and shake, shake, shake.  After I got the wood as dark as it would go, I used a soft cloth and rubbed it with the olive oil/vinegar mix.  Magic!  You could barely tell the difference between the original stain and the place that I had repaired.  Wow! This was more than exciting.

On to the wood floors.  I rubbed all the scratched places with walnuts and then rubbed them with the magic solution.  You could not see the scratches.  Amazing!  Then, I knew I had found the solution to a dilemma I had with a fabulous wood salad bowl that we had gotten for a wedding gift 44 years ago. Yes, it's an antique and more than well used.  It looked very sad.

Now this is not an ordinary salad bowl.  When we opened the gift,  Dan and I laughed hysterically because it was maybe the biggest salad bowl we had ever seen and we could not imagine ever using such a monstrosity.  It was really beautiful and had 4 small salad bowls and a fork and spoon that matched.  Needless to say, those are long gone, but I still use the giant salad bowl for many occasions. Shows you what we knew in those early days.  This bowl is 15.5 inches in diameter and 6 inches high.  I mean you can make enough salad in it to feed an army.  Well, guess what?  We have a small army since we have 4 children, in loves, and grandchildren, plus extended family and friends.  This is what this poor bowl looked like.  It has been well used.
All the beautiful finish was long gone from the center of the bowl.  The sides were more of the same.
After so many repeated washings, the poor beautiful bowl was quite the sad sack.  I did not want to use any chemicals to refinish it since we put food in it.  I knew I had finally found a solution that just might do the trick.  First, I put some walnuts in the bowl and rubbed away.
I only had chopped walnuts at the time.  It would probably be much easier with walnut halves.  I rubbed them into the damaged areas of the bowl until the color got much dark and more even with the original finish. Then, I broke out the magic solution.  Using a soft cloth, I applied it to the center of the bowl and the outside damaged areas.  This is how the sides look now.  Nice.
They are not perfect, but so much better.  At least they are no longer big white shining patches glaring at you like a big sore thumb.  You might even want to eat out of this bowl.   The interior of the bowl looks like this.  Just look at the improvement!
Again, not perfect, but if it had not been left unattended for so long, you might not even be able to see the damaged areas at all.  The best part?  No chemicals - only natural ingredients and it will be super easy to repair again when the finish begins to show wear again.  Now, I won't be embarrassed to break out the giant salad bowl when needed.

I don't have any dark furniture in my house, but if I did, I would be using this on everything.  It really is magic.  So next time you see this on Pinterest or Facebook and wonder if or how it could work, remember my little testimonial and know that it does!  Give it a try if you have dark wood furniture or floors that are in need of some TLC.  It really, really works.

Everyday Donna

Things To Remember:

If  you have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say Cool Whip on the side, you might be a redneck.  Jeff Foxworthy

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