Every now and again a roadside or op shop find needs a bit of TLC. A couple of weekends ago we drove past a gorgeous 1975 Parker Cabinet that had been put out for the council clean up collection. Of course, we went back (and spent the rest of the day getting it home in pieces in our little car!). It was in great condition except that the wood was dehydrated and had turned a pale sand colour, so different from the rich teak colour that's typical of Parker furniture.
After a bit of research I made up my own wood polish and set to work on the cabinet. The recipe couldn't be easier - two ingredients! And this polish works. Your wood will be glossy and nourished and your hands will receive a nice moisturising treatment in the process.
Today I decided to tackle a 1970s Chiswell table that we bought for $30 a couple of years ago on eBay. We always meant to strip it back and repolish it but it never happened. In addition to it's 40+ years of grime we've added pen, glue, food, and paint to the table top since we've owned it thanks to the kids. It was time for a clean.
The first thing I did was clean the top using warm soapy water and steel wool, following the direction of the grain. Then I gave it a couple of rinses and two spray/wipes with my home made cleaner. After it had dried completely I grabbed a scrap of flannel fabric and began working the polish into the wood. As you can see, the wood was very dry and looking at bit worse for wear.
Once you have applied the polish you can leave it to soak in for a while or buff it straight off using a clean soft cloth.
You can see the difference the polish makes straight away:
And here's the finished table top - I think I'll do another couple of coats in the next couple of weeks just to make sure the wood is really protected.
And here is the freebie Parker that we found, all polished up using the same polish:
If you'd like to make your own wood polish the recipe is super simple.
Get a small glass jar and fill it with some olive oil. Place it in a pot that has water simmering in it, you want the water to come up the side of the jar about 1/3 - 1/2 - not too far because you definitely don't want any water coming in the top. Add some beeswax (I used a piece of an old candle) the ratio is about 4 parts oil to 1 part wax. Melt the beeswax into the oil until it's completely dissolved. Take it out of the water carefully and allow it to cool down. It will set to a thick paste.
Have fun polishing :)