Ever wonder how professional designers can pull a room together with apparent effortlessness? Sure, a large part of it is years of experience and a deep knowledge of our craft, but we also have a few tricks hidden up our sleeves. Of course, by tricks I mean products. Products that not only make my job easier, but give my clients’ a clean professional result.
Hillman Adjustable Picture Hangers
Ever had to hang a heavy mirror with two hooks? What about an extra wide painting? How many holes did you nail in your wall before the painting was finally level?
Say goodbye to picture hanging frustration. Simply nail these hangers at approximately the same height, hook the picture onto the hangers and spin the nut up or down to adjust the picture to level. Not only do these hangers save your walls from countless nail holes as you attempt to reposition your picture, but they save you a ton of time. Best of all, each hanger can hold up to 100 pounds.
There is a downside to this product, however. The hanger itself is fairly long, so if your pictures’ hooks are near the top of the piece the hanger will be exposed above it. The solution? Reposition the hooks on the back of the frame so that they rest lower and hide the hangers.
These hangers can be difficult to find in hardware stores. In my experience, most hardware employees in the big box stores have never even heard of them. My advice: Bring a picture of the hangers with you to the store or simply order online. They are widely available and shipping is free if you pick them up in the store.
Furniture Touch-Up Pens
Knick your table? Scratch your headboard? These pens are great for hiding small dings in wooden furniture. Application is easy and fast, and all you need is a marker and a clean rag.
Step 1: Rub the marker on the scratch. Wait 3 to 4 seconds.
Step 2: Wipe the excess off with a rag (If you do not wipe off the excess, you will see the pen mark).
Step 3: Repeat until the scratch blends in with the rest of the wood.
These pens come in a variety of colors. If possible when shopping, bring a drawer or some other sample of the stain you want to match. These pens are available at most big box hardware stores, check the furniture parts aisle or simply order online. While there are several brands on the market, I have always found Guardsmen to be the easiest to work with.
You have probably seen the late-night infomercials touting furniture glides and wondered if they actually worked. They do! I use these glides so frequently I bought a second set for my home. Simply slide a plastic glide under each foot or corner of a piece of furniture and voila. That heavy sofa you haven’t moved in so long it has sunk into the carpet can easily be pushed aside.
Having difficulty lifting the corner of that armoire? Some sets come with a curved metal rod called a lifter. These allow you to lift the furniture while standing, which is much better for your back than squatting to lift. Be careful when using the lifter because if placed incorrectly, you can damage the furniture.
Most big-box hardware stores sell the glides in a four-pack. These glides are also widely available on the Internet, where you can often find them in a set including the lifter. There are two types of glides — plastic backed glides are designed for carpet floors, and felt-backed glides are designed for hardwood and tile floors.
Harden Furniture Polish
This polish, made by one of the oldest furniture manufacturers in the country, is by far the best restorative polish on the market. It makes even the cheapest piece of wood furniture look high end.
For best results, use rags instead of paper towels when applying the polish. Rags are better than paper towels for cleaning wood furniture in general. Paper towels leave lint that is difficult to remove from crevices. Old cotton undershirts make perfect rags. Tempting though it is to touch the glossy wood after applying the polish, try not to until the polish has dried. Any earlier and you will have to re-polish the piece to remove your fingerprints. Apply Harden polish once or twice a year to keep your furniture looking spectacular.
You can buy Harden polish directly from the manufacturer. Visit www.hardenfurniture.com/Polish.aspx for the phone number. Or save money and visit http://www.hardenfurniture.com/Dealer-Locator.aspx to find a local furniture store that sells Harden furniture. Call first to make sure the store carries the polish in stock.
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