Spring spruce-ups with Bruce Johnson

April 11, 2008 11:12:31 AM PDT
With the prospect of sunny spring days ahead, homeowners and apartment dwellers throughout Chicago will soon turn their thoughts toward Sprucing Up for Spring. Bruce Johnson, author of 50 Ways to Save Your House and do-it-yourself expert, shares his tips to spiff up your home getting floors, furniture and cabinets in tip top shape.

Hardwood Floors

How to clean your floors without damaging the wood

  • Water and wood don't mix, so forget those days of a mop and a bucket of soapy water. make sure you always use a product designed specifically for hardwood floors, such as Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner.

    How to extend the life of a worn out floor finish

  • Floor finishes take a beating every day and regardless of how durable your floor finish may have been when it was new, they all wear out over time. To add more beauty and protection to your floor finish, apply a coat of Minwax® Hardwood Floor Reviver. It's a low odor water-based finish that dries in 2 hours. It isn't slippery like wax and it lasts longer than a floor polish. Helps you remove scuffs and scratches without sanding or totally refinishing floors.

  • A product like Reviver provides a layer of protection, but homeowners can take additional preventative measures to protect hardwood floor:

    Place felt or protector pads on all furniture legs that touch the wood floor, place mats or area rugs in entryways and high-traffic areas, and keep pets' nails trimmed. Perform regular cleaning and maintenance, and you can avoid damage and keep your hardwood floors looking fabulous.

  • Kitchen cabinets

    How to remove the grime that builds up on cabinet doors and drawers

    Kitchen cabinets are often finished with lacquer, which can be damaged if you use a harsh cleaner, especially one with ammonia in it. Instead, use Minwax® Wood Cleaner, which removes grime and build-up without damaging the finish.

  • How to protect the existing finish while making it look new again

  • We all know that Polyurethane is the toughest finish we do-it-yourselfers can apply, but Polyurethane requires a brush. An even easier way to add protection and beauty to your kitchen cabinets is with Minwax® Wipe-On Poly, which can be applied with nothing more than a clean cloth.

    Furniture repairs

    How to remove candle wax

  • The best way to remove wax is to first harden it with an ice cube, then popping it off with a plastic scraper.

    How to remove a water mark

    A white ring is water trapped in the finish. You can often release that moisture with super-fine steel wool dipped in either Minwax ® Tung Oil or Wipe-On Poly.

  • How to fill small holes and repair scratches

  • The easy way to fill a small hole, such as a nail hole, in a finished piece of furniture is with a pre-tinted Wood Putty®. Simply press it into the hole and wipe off the excess.

  • Shallow scratches can be disguised with Minwax® Wood Finish Stain Markers, small canisters of stain with a convenient felt-tip applicator.

    For more tips, visit www.minwax.com.

    Author-craftsman Bruce Johnson has introduced millions of do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople and antique collectors to the world of wood finishing and antique restoration. Bruce motivates people to take the initiative to beautify their surroundings. Through his many books, magazine articles and columns, as well as frequent appearances on national television talk shows, Bruce is recognized as an authority in the do-it-yourself community. Appearing on PBS, HGTV, The Discovery Channel, and currently hosting "DIY Woodworking" and "Build A Log Cabin", on the new DIY cable network, Bruce has brought the illustrious craft of wood finishing to the forefront of the American home.

    An expert in wood refinishing, antique restoration, and home improvement, Bruce has published more than a dozen books on these topics, including Fifty Simple Ways To Save Your House, The Wood Finisher, The Weekend Refinisher, and The Official Identification and Price Guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement. His antique refinishing advice column, "Knock on Wood," ran for more than two decades in 20 antique/collectibles publications.

    A rare combination of craftsman and journalist, Bruce began his career as a high school English teacher, but left teaching to set up his "Knock on Wood Antique Repair & Restoration" shop. He spent the next 10 years as a full-time professional refinisher, but eventually returned to writing. Yet, Bruce says, he won't ever be without a workbench and a couple of refinishing projects down in the basement

    Bruce is also the founder and director of the Arts and Crafts Conference and Antique Show held every February in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Grove Park Inn. The conference, which includes the largest Arts and Crafts antiques show, attracts more than 1500 Arts and Crafts collectors each year to its many seminars, tours, demonstrations and exhibits. Bruce is proud to have played a role in reviving interest in designers like Gustav Stickley, who founded the Arts and Crafts movement. These furnishings are treasured by such collectors as Steven Spielberg and Bruce Willis, among many others.


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