The Furniture Guys

Ed Feldman and Joe L'Erario

Your Questions

We welcome your questions on just about anything from furniture, refinishing, upholstery, repairs, movies, television or food. Some answers will be posted here and others will receive an email reply so check back and see if your letter made it to the site.

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Some Answers

There must be something wrong with my TV. You're not on it anymore. Are you ever going to be back on my TV? (several fans)
It's not that we're not into doing the show, it's just trying to get another show. . .ahhh. . .there's the rub. We are working on developing a new show and hope it's on before your sons are too old to care about two goof-balls who fix furniture. We will be back. The Guys
What do I do about white rings? (several fans)
White rings are caused by moisture which had penetrated the finish. Young rings can be eradicated using cigar or cigarette ashes in conjunction with a simple lemon oil. Apply the oil, sprinkle the ashes and rub with a soft cloth. The spot should lift. More stubborn rings can sometimes be gotten out using cotton that has been soaked with ammonia. Held over the white cloudy marks, the ammonia gas may pull the spot from the surface. It does not always work, though. Black spots mean that water has gotten into the wood and discolored it. Nothing short of sanding will take care of this.
I have oak furniture (rocking chairs) that are placed on an exterior porch. The porch is covered, however, the furniture gets some sun exposure. I would like to refinish them. What type of finish do you recommend that is durable and will reduce the time between refinishing. (JD)
The best kind of finish for out door wooden furniture is marine varnish. There are ultaviolet blockers in the dried film which prevents cracking. Marine varnishes also, even though they feel dry to the touch, remain plyable and will expand and contract with the wood. Gloss is best.
On one show you did a finish that I have often heard of as blonde. It was used over wood like birch. This required several ingredients. Could I get the recipe off you or could you give me an idea where to look for it? (RF)
The so called "Blonde" finish was applied to furniture from the fifties. Usually it was applied to birch/maple furniture and it is somewhat of a production finish which means it is very hard to achieve using brushes and oil stains. The best that I can offer, (assuming you are able to spray) is to apply a wash coat of shellac or lacquer sanding sealer to the wood. The wood should then be sanded with a 320 paper. Next, the wood should be stained with a golden oak stain. Once the stain is dried, a mixture of yellow ochre, white and umber Japan color is mixed together. This mixture is added to the clear lacquer and then sprayed on. This is called a "toner". Once this coat has dried, several clear coats are applied. This finish can be applied using brushing techniques but on a large area is rather laborious and iffy. Hope this helps.
I remember an old episode where you guys made a stain out of old records. Could you please refresh my memory on how that process works. (PJ)
Well PJ, you're in luck. I just finished an account of a job I did using said items. Check it out in the adventures of Furniture Godfather.
Guys, I once saw an episode where you two geniuses, and I say that sincerely, mixed a solution in a tin can that would turn wood an aged silvery color. I recall that you put alot of rusty items in the can also. Could you share this recipe with your devoted followers? Thanks!! (DW)
That recipe is as follows: 1 part water, 1 part white vinegar, (depending on how much you want to make, a "part" can be a gallon or a thimble) and all the rusted iron you can find. Let it sit loosely covered for a week or so and then use on oak. Concentrated form will create deep black. Watered down with more water will reduce the intensity and create lighter shades of black to silvery grey. PS: This solution works better on white oak than red because white has more tannin in it.