For a number of years, I have been detailing, repairing, and generally improving furniture pieces, because I resell furniture as one of my business ventures. Below are several tricks of the trade I have learned to redo furniture in your home. If you come across that older /antique/ or simply vintage piece of wooden furniture that has a multitude of scrapes, scratches or dings, one of the best products I have found to alleviate the situation, without refinishing the entire piece is to apply liberally a product called Liquid Gold. This product can be found at almost any hardware store, lumberyard, and many times in larger grocery stores. Liquid Gold comes as a spray on product or bulk liquid one quart cans. If you are only going to do a few pieces of furniture only every once in a while, then the spray can would probably service your needs. However if you plan to work on a lot of pieces or continually need this product, it is much more economical to buy your product in the quart size or larger canister. The product gives off a very pleasant cherry or almond odor which makes it easier to work with, and better to display after using in a home. A simple soft cloth can be used to wipe away excess spray, or to rub on the liquid form of this product. Simply pour a little bit of the liquid onto your rag and wipe directly on the affected area. Careful not to use too much of the oil , because it takes a while for it to dry up, and more product can leave a little stickiness to the surface. (Note:try a little of the Liquid Gold in a more inconspicuous spot to see it the desired finish is obtained.) Another product that has proven to be somewhat useful if Formby's Furniture Refinsher. This is a dissolve and dry reformed into a new finish type agent. The product actually melts the old finish into a liquid, stabilizes it and drys back into its original form without showing the original flaking,splitting, or cracking to the finish surface. I only use this product generally on smaller areas not an entire piece for several reasons. One reason is the simple cost of the product, the product normally comes in about a 1/2 quart size, and to do the job right can use up the entire can. This can depending on where you buy it can cost you up to twenty dollars a can. The other reason is that I have found the results may vary from surface to surface, or area to area. One side of a piece might finish out much lighter than another due to what that particular surface has been exposed to. A side which spent most of its life against the wall will have picked up less dirt, grime and/or exposure to light. This can cause various color variations from lighter to darker. Some people swear by the use of Old English. This product comes in varied shades of stain which can in many cases hide imperfections to the surfaces of the furniture. However especially on large areas, Old English does tend to leave a sticky residue which will attract dirt, and be harder to use on an everyday basis, especially on tables or chairs. In all cases be sure to allow at least 24 hours to completely allow the product used to dry. After drying, you should be able to apply polishes, or in some cases when using Old English or Formby's you can overlay with Liquid Gold. I must stress to only use any of these products in a less visible area at first to see what kind of results may be expected. By taking this simple step, you might avert having to go back and completely refinish the entire piece of furniture. In the future we will discuss various refinishing techniques and products available, but personally I try not to completely refinish any piece of furniture that does not really need it.
Okay time for a rant. I hate, not dislike, or even just loathe, I HATE these mail firm companies that offer the poor unsuspecting pidgeon their product for what seems to be a reasonable price. Then not only do they offer you the product but since they claim they are your "friend" and since you are so nice, they are generously are going to send you a second unit of the product asbsolutely FREE!! Yeah real free alright, in reality in small print you are still on the hook for ONLY additional shipping and handling. WOW what good guys they are! Then you rush to your phone to get that order in before someone buys the last one(Two?). Or you jump into the internet to buy it on line yeah! Up clicks the flashy display page showing the item in full living color, and you are chomping at the bit to buy! There is the holy grail button (also known as the submit button) and up pops the information page. After filling out the important info, you put in the credit card number and you are now about to launch into the proud ownership of the product in duplicate! Then the reality check drops on your head like the Green Giant stomping a helpless bug. The total for the order is TWICE or THREE times what you originally thought. WHAT is going on here? Scanning down these pompous charges you discover that the small shipping and handling fee is a couple of pennies short of the USA debt load! The item cost you $9.99 with a shipping and handling fee is $9.99 more. When they add in the second FREE item with shipping /handling charge , suddenly the entire order is $29.97. That means you are paying $9.99 for the 2 items (of course one is FREE) and $19.98 for shipping /handling. I refuse to be connived into spending twice as much for shipping and item(s) than the original cost of the item. I have been in the mailing business for over 20 years, and I can say I am a bit of an expert on shipping values. A 4 ounce items (X 2 = 8 ounces) does not cost a company almost $20 to ship. Even if you factor in the handling? charge, any idiot should know that if you pack an order with the same 2 items, it does not take twice as much time, the items should theoretically be in the same place and it is a simple job just to pick up 2 of them and pack them in the same box. I propose that we all band together and protest with our wallets. Refuse to buy these knuckleheads products, and eventually even the thick headed marketers will come to the realization that they are doing something wrong. They probably will think up some new scam to lay on the masses. Anyway that is how I see it.
Medieval helmets are extremely popular collectibles as well as display items for the house. These types of helmets make great displays. They have fancy plumes, intricate details, and highly polished metals. They come in many different shapes, designs, and colors to choose from. Replica helmets make for quick and easy displays since they are relatively small and have a multitude of display options. You can display these items on shelves, in display cases, on table tops, and even on specially made helmet stands. Helmet stands tend to give you the best display you can get for a helmet. You'll find that a Spartan helmet really stands out on a nice helmet stand. In this article you'll learn why a helmet stand is your best display option for your helmet. You'll even learn a fantastic place to visit to buy your new helmet stands and helmets. Firstly, I should tell you that helmet stands are not for everybody. If you are trying to secure an expensive helmet, you are better off putting it in a lockable display case. However, all others should consider a helmet stand for their display. Many people decide to buy or make shelves because they can hold a lot of helmets and do not cost much. Unfortunately, these shelves do not display the entire helmet. The back of the helmet cannot be viewed when it is up against a wall. Also if you place many helmets on a shelf, you won't be able to see the sides of the helmet either. Do you really want to buy an entire helmet and only display part of it? Table tops can be good venues for displaying helmets because of the 360 degree view. Sadly, they do not provide a grand display for your helmet. Placing the helmet on the table top will make it look like table clutter rather than a nice display. Using a helmet stand is the best way to display a helmet. They can easily be purchased from www.armorvenue.com . You'll have a proudly raised helmet as well as a nice 360 degree view of your helmet. You can place these stand on any flat surface. Table tops and even floors can hold your new helmet and helmet stand. You'll also be able to place things under them because the bottom of the stand doesn't take up much room.
People are always asking what the “hot” collectible item is at the moment. This question's answer can shift almost daily. Collecting is in itself up to each person’s own taste. Over the years many items have become hot for a few weeks, few months, even a few years. Sometimes things become popular due to their age. I subscribe to the "Mountains and Valleys" theory of collecting. I apply this theory generally to the toy collecting field but it could also be applied to other collecting fields. This theory is simply based on common sense. When an item is first sold, it is at the high point of the value of the item. After it is sold, it plummets in value either from removal from it’s original packaging (which is a whole other topic for later discussion), or simply because it becomes used, played with, or displayed. As the years go by, the value continues in a downward spiral, the speed of the fall based on several factors, including how much wear or abuse the item gets, lack of popularity, and if the original packaging is still available. Eventually the value of an item bottoms out and the price stays about the same. Depending on how popular the item was at the time of initial sale, or what event, person, or place it is based on, will determine once again how fast the value may begin to climb. Back in the mid 1980’s. the Star Wars Craze had subsided, and Star Wars toys and items could be picked up generally for very little investment. Many toys still were on the store shelves at huge discounted prices. Wholesalers were shunning any new items offered and the overstocks and unsold products were being dumped on the closeout markets. Savvy investors began acquiring these caches and putting them away. A few short years later, new Star Wars related cartoons and movies were put in the front of the public, and the popularity of the shows began a new fuel for the collector’s fires. These old stock items began rising in price, especially mint in packages and the items that were difficult to locate back when they were first introduced. Boxed Star Wars dolls, such as Bobba Fett, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia began escalating at a breathtaking pace. Dolls that had sold just a few years before at closeout prices suddenly were bringing one hundred, two hundred, or more depending on the character and the condition of the packaging. As the craze continued, the boxed items began petering out and collectors began paying huge sums fot the loose out of package dolls, toys, and items. Demand was high and the supply was somewhat limited. Dealers were scouring garage and yard sales, estates, auctions, flea markets and shows to pick up that one item to sell for a big profit. Then the fire began to cool and the prices started to level off again. Economic news dampened the collector’s ardor, and then reality set in, people had no money to buy those cute toys anymore. Thus we have a mountain (higher price), a valley (lower price), a mountain (higher price), and finally a valley once again. These highs and lows are regulated according to many different factors as I have pointed out, and there are many other things that can shake the markets up. I have always subscribed to the mantra: buy things I like, I want, and I keep, and the price becomes secondary to entire equation. The previous thoughts can be applied to almost any kind of collectible. The hot item of today could very well be the dog of tomorrow. Stop worrying about what is “hot” and concentrate more on what you personally like, and you will not go wrong.
There are a large number of ways to find that special collectible item. One of the best ways is to peruse your local papers for auctions, yard sales, garage sales, and shows. When deciding to go to sales, remember that the early bird truly gets the worm. If possible find out when the sale starts, and be there when they open it up. Most of the best items are sold within the first hour of a yard or garage sale. Getting to auctions early is also beneficial. You will be able to park closer to the sale, and thus save yourself some steps when bringing items you get back to your vehicles. Another benefit for early arrival to an auction is that you have plenty of time to look over all of the items selling , noting any damage, missing parts, or incorrectly labeled items. You can then decide how much the item is worth to you and establish what you want to bid up to for an item. It is best to write down the items you want, how much you are willing to pay, and then when it comes time to bid stick with your maximum bid. Do not get carried away and bid once more because you think the other bidders are done. This is one of the biggest mistakes at auctions, is regretting yourself because you over bid. Sometimes auctions will include family members who will bid up an item either to get a better end price, or simply because it holds a dear memory that is more important than the cost of the item. At garage and yard sales look over all your purchases before you buy! Generally these kind of sales, every item is sold as is, no refunds of any kind. Sometimes you will find a seller who is less than completely honest, and will hide a crack or chip under a price tag, or place damaged items in darkened areas of the sale to make it harder to see the flaws. Again buyer beware! Most people are generally honest and if they think of it, will point out flaws to the buyer, but some either forget, do not know, or simply want it sold. I will be posting other tips on buying things in the near future, Happy Hunting!