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Submitted by: Jesse Akre
Quality accent tables can be a big investment in your home dcor. Even though youve taken every precaution to keep them looking like new, inevitably someone is going to scratch them, a stain will appear or youll find some discoloration that makes your once beautiful accent tables candidates for the dumpster.
The good news is that they dont have to suffer this fate. With a little elbow grease, the right cleaning agents and some helpful household tips, you can restore the beauty of your accent tables, even removing large scratches with relative ease.
First, lets look a the small nicks and scrapes. These can usually be covered up easily with a product you can purchase at any home improvement store made expressly for this purpose. You can also use some shoe polish or use Sharpie markers. Color in the scratch and watch it disappear. Youd be amazed at how well this works. You can also use an empty shoe polish applicator and fill it with stain that matches your finish. The process is just like polishing a pair of shoes.
Water spots can be maddening when you find them on your accent tables. However, once they have dried completely, take a soft cloth and dab some mayonnaise onto it. Rub it on the spot until it disappears. Use real mayonnaise. Miracle Whip might be tangy on a sandwich, but it wont remove a water spot.
Any colored rings can be removed with a little toothpaste. Rub it in until the ring disappears. You can also use cigarette ashes in cooking oil. But if youre not a smoker, go with the toothpaste.
Candle wax can really ruin the finish on accent tables. But they are easier to remove than you think. If candle wax gets on the surface, let it cool and harden completely. Place ice on it so it gets brittle. Then scrape it off with a plastic (not metal) spatula. Polish it a bit to remove any remaining wax.
Of course, the best way to fix the damage to your accent tables is to prevent it to begin with. Its always a good idea to have lots of coasters around so when guests are over, they can place their drinks on the coasters instead of on your accent tables.
When youre entertaining, you want to make sure that you dont place any hot serving dishes on an unprotected table. Always place a hot pad, trivet, a couple of oven mitts or at least a thick towel under the hot plate to prevent burning and marring.
If you are using candles to set the mood, make sure they have a large base to them. If not, place the candleholder on a dish or trivet or use hurricane lamps instead so hot wax doesnt spill out and onto the top of your expensive accent tables.
You shouldnt ever polish or wax your wood with cheap commercial products available at supermarkets. These can harm the surface or simply add a layer of waxy film that will collect dust. If you really like the look of polish, use one part lemon oil to three parts olive oil. It will do the job nicely and leave a nice lemony scent in the room.
Usually, a regular dusting is all that is needed to keep your tables looking terrific. If they really need a deeper cleaning use a very mild dish soap that is diluted in water. You dont need a lot of soap. In the words of an old television commercial, a little dab will do ya.
With just a little care and some light maintenance when your tables do get a nick or scratch, you should be able to keeping your furniture looking like new for years to come.
About the Author: Jesse Akre owns Edenvale Shoppes and hosts numerous furniture and furnishings for any home whether it be
styles and designs.