Archive for the ‘wood’ category

Removing Mildew from a Cedar Deck

January 19th, 2010

How do you remove mildew from new cedar deck boards? Some of them were just installed. I can’t believe mildew would appear that fast! I would like to seal the deck, however I can’t do it until the mildew is removed. Thanks.



You can remove mildew from a wooden deck with any deck cleaner. You can also use a product called JOMAX – it’s a great cleaner that you mix with water and laundry bleach. Spray it on, let it soak for 15 min, then hose it off. Scrub if any residue remains.

The mildew was probably on the lumber when it was installed, and was activated by the exterior moisture. Cleaning will help remove the dirt that the mildew loves to grow on. You do need to seal the deck soon, as it is dry in the spring.

Cabinets Got The Rub

December 15th, 2009


I have original kitchen cupboards in my home. When I open and close the drawers it actually creates sawdust that lands on the items in the cupboard underneath. Is there anything I can put on the cupboard to prevent the friction and still be able to open and close the drawer? Thanks for your help!



D006You have some older cabinets if you have wood-to-wood contact. I do have a simple solution. Buy some “V-Seal” or “V” shaped vinyl weather stripping for doors and windows. This weather stripping is very thin vinyl and has an adhesive on one edge.

Place the “V” seal on the frame of the drawer with the adhesive on the rail that supports the drawer bottom. You will now have a wood drawer that is gliding on a smooth vinyl surface. The “V” seal is inexpensive and can be cut with a scissors. A wax paper covers the adhesive strip.


Accidentally Sanding Through the Finish

December 10th, 2009


I have just started my own cabinet business. I am a good carpenter, but struggle at refinishing. I have a stain called fruitwood. It is not an easy stain. When I sanded my door, I accidentally sanded through the finish (into the stain). When I try to touch up this burn-through, it seems like it repels this color. Then I resorted to stripping back down and starting over. Do you have a suggestion?



I am old fashioned when I finish wood. I like oil-based stains like Zar or Miniwax. I sand the surface smooth with fine sandpaper and remove all dust with a vacuum and tack cloth.

I apply the oil stain with a rag or lambswool, and even it out in corners with a dry brush. After the stain is dry I apply the first coat of clear finish – normally a wipe-on oil. Then I sand lightly and apply two more coats.

I would not sand the stain because you may cut through the finish. When you try to apply finish to patch the area, any wood that is partially stained will reject the new finish.

Hope this helps. I would buy a good oil-based finish and follow the directions.


Removing Deep Scratches in Woodwork

November 25th, 2009


When we moved into our new place, we had some friends that scratched the woodwork while moving furniture. The scratches are quite deep and you can see white wood under the nice, dark stain. How can we fix this?


Lightly sand or steel wool the area to remove any loose wood fibers. Stain the light colored scratch with an oil based stain that will match the color of the finish. Use a very small amount of stain on a rag and scrub the oil stain into the scratch. When the wood in the scratch is the right color, is will almost disappear.

Several companies have simplified this repair process by putting oil based wood stain into marker-like containers. You just rub the stain marker on the scratch. I suggest you start with a stain color that is lighter than the original finish because torn and scratched wood fibers will absorb stain quickly and darken quickly. You can always apply a second coat if the first coat is too light in color.

To make the finish look like new, you can apply a wipe-on oil finish over the stained scratch. Use a small paint brush or Q-Tip to apply the clear finish to the damaged area only. Several coats can be used to build up a shiny finish.

Removing Light Scratches on a Wooden Table

November 19th, 2009


The top surface of our wooden table has several scratches. None of them are very deep. What is the best way to remove these scratches, or at least minimize their appearance? I do not want to refinish the surface.



minwax-antique-oil-finishYou can try to rub a wipe-on oil finish such as General Finishes, Minwax Antique Finish, or tung oil into the scratch.   I would try to apply a very small amount into the scratch with a very small artists brush.

If you can hide the scratch, you will need to sand the complete finish to remove the scratch and roughen the surface.  The apply a thin coat of a wipe-on finish.

Use painter’s caulk in wood trim joints that have cracks and openings

October 13th, 2009


I am completing some interior painting projects and have had problems in the past with painting the wood molding between the wall and the ceiling. When there is a small gap between the wood and the ceiling it shows up as a large black line or gap. I have tried to spackle these gaps in the past with no success. What will work?


I like to use painter’s caulk in wood trim joints that have cracks and openings. Painters caulk is easy to use – usually a water based product. Don’t use silicone caulk because it may not hold paint.

To fill the joints, simply apply a small bead of caulk. I like to smooth the caulk with my finger dipped in soapy water. You can create a smooth joint that is easy to paint and will move as the wood expands and contracts to eliminate future cracks.

I also use caulk for small cracks in plaster and drywall and to caulk corner joints that have opened up. On a textured wall I will poke, rub, dab, slide, and otherwise manipulate the caulk surface to match the texture.