Secrets of My Trade

So, my role as a home stager allows me to see A LOT of different homes.  I have the privilege of meeting tons of different people and seeing how they live.  But with it comes a whole slew of issues.  And by “issue”, I mean things that may interfere with the overall presentation of the home.  These can be as small as dents left on a wall-to-wall carpet from a sofa sitting on it for a long time or as serious as gauges in the hardwood floor.

You are in for a treat today, because I’m going to spill the beans on some easy tricks I use to make sure each house I work in shines with all it’s glory.

Ever have an area rug that you are constantly tripping on because the corners constantly roll up?  Well, quit your cursing because I have the solution.  SHELLAC!  I know what you’re thinking … but the shellac is to be applied to the underside of the rug.  Start with one coat right on the fussy corner or wrinkle.  The amount of shellac you should use is based on the thickness of the pile.  A thicker carpet will require more, while a thinner area rug may only need one coat.  Let each coat dry between applications and if needed, re-apply until the curl subsides.

What about candle drippings on your carpet? We’ve all been there, you have people over, someone inevitablely knocks over the candle holder.  Or you’re like me, and you like to let the candle burn all the way to end so that the wax overflows and finds its way down to the carpet.  Fret no more! Use a brown paper bag over the spot as a blotter to absorb the wax and run a hot iron over it to melt the wax.  Just be careful not to let the iron sit on one spot for too long or else you will have a whole different problem on your hands.

But candle wax is a bigger issue on furniture surfaces, since that’s the first place it will go.  To remove chunks of wax from your furniture surfaces, aim your hair dryer at it. Once it is softened, peel it off and follow with a clean rag or paper towel.

Do you have nicks or scratches in your dark hardwood floors? Try mixing enough water with instant coffee to create a thick paste and rub it into the wood.  Clean off the excess and wax as usual.  Good as new!  For deeper scratches, break a walnut or pecan nut in half and rub the scratch with the meaty side.  This method works better on lighter floors and is not necessarily a permenent solution, but does the job in a pinch.

One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing water rings on wooden furniture.  Really, how hard is it to put down a coaster first?  But none the less, they make furniture look crappy and they are hard to wipe off.  A great trick is to rub the area with petroleum jelly and let it sit for at least 24 hours.  Rub it into the wood, finish up with a quick polish and you’re good to go.

And finally, I didn’t forget, those pesky flat spots on the carpet where the furniture sits.  Sometimes, if there is a heavy pattern in the area rug, it can go unoticed.  But if the carpet is a sold colour, the dents will be much more obvious.  Place ice cubes on the indented areas and let them melt.  Once they are gone, give the rug a once over with the vacuum and the fibers should pop right back up.  In some cases where the furniture has been sitting for extended periods, you may need to repeat this process a couple of times. 

So there you have it, some really easy ways to take care of those more complex chores.  Keep in mind that whenever you are applying anything to your furniture, upholstery or carpeting, it is always a good idea to test a discreet spot first, just to make sure that there is no adverse reaction and you’re not making it worse.  Easy peasy right?  Of course, in my opinion, the easiest way to clean anything is to have someone else do it.  🙂

Stay classy,

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