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10 Steps to Maintaining your Butterfly Stool

The Butterfly Stool is a work of art – a visual delight in the form of a furniture piece. You will want to keep your new stool in the condition you bought it for as long as you can, but being a practical and appealing furniture piece in a living space, it will be subjected to the normal wear and tear that any stool or seat has to endure. Bear the following advice in mind and your stool will maintain its good looks and new condition for many years:

• Protect all wooden furniture from direct sunlight. Sun rays exposure can dry out the wood and bleach out the color.

• Wood breathes, so both extremely moist and dry air should be avoided. Humidifier or dehumidifier can be used when needed to help keep wood from drying out or warping. Avoid placing your wood furniture near air vents; the forced air will adversely affect the wood.

• Because of its appealing shape, the Butterfly Stool is sometimes used as a stand or to hold decorative items like bonsai trees or flower arrangements. Cover the bottoms of ornaments or vases with felt to prevent scratching.

• Protective plate should always be used under flower vases filled with water to keep moisture from drawing into the wood. Never let water stand on a wood surface.

• Hot objects should not be placed directly onto the wood of your furniture as this can discolor the finish and leave a permanent mark in the wood.

• For general cleaning:

o In order to maintain a clean surface and protect the finish from soil build up dust it several times a week. Use a clean, lint-free absorbent cloth for general dusting.

o Once a year wash your wood furniture surfaces with a sudsy solution of mild soap and water. After wringing out most of the water, use a clean, soft cloth to work on a small area at a time, overlapping areas as you work. Clean with the sudsy solution rinsing it with a soap-free dampened cloth. Dry immediately with a soft, lint-free cloth.

• For occasional polishing:

o With boiled linseed oil and gum turpentine mixed together in equal parts, apply it to the wood surfaces with a course, lint free cloth, such as cheesecloth. Rub it to the wood briskly until it is completely dry and sheen appears. Let the oil soak into the wood. Reapply if necessary.

o Apply once a month for three to four months for new furniture, then apply twice a year or as needed.

o Use a mixture of two parts of boiled linseed oil for older furniture and one part gum turpentine every six to eight months. Rub the mixture on the tops of tables, and to the underside of table leaves to prevent warping.

• For All Hard Finishes:

o Lacquers, varnishes, and polyurethane finishes can all be protected with waxes or polishes. Select the polish according to the level of gloss or sheen you desire. Do not mix products as a dull film may result. Clean the piece with cleaner-conditioner to remove an inappropriate wax or finish, and then apply the appropriate finish protection.

o A paste wax or an aerosol or liquid polish containing silicone will create a high gloss.

o With consecutive applications paste waxes offers the best protection and a lot of buffing provide a beautiful high gloss. Paste wax comes in shades of dark and light to blend in with the tone of the wood.

• Aerosol or liquid polishes that contain silicones offer a high gloss even with very little buffing; they also clean and shine and give the wood a durable protective finish. But this can complicate the process of refinishing in the future because silicones are rather difficult to remove. Finger smudges also tends to show more readily and need more frequent applications to maintain the gloss, causing a heavier silicone buildup.

• Satin-gloss and low-gloss finishes are best maintained by cream waxes or liquid cleaning polishes which do not contain silicones. Oil polishes can also be used as well, but require more rubbing and attract dust quickly.