The Insider: How to freshen up your second-hand buys
Sunday 13 May 2012
Like your homewares pre-loved – but wary of whiffy flea-market and charity-shop buys? Don't be: take tips from the pros and do a Cinderella on scabby, shabby or stinky second-hand finds...
Now that's magic
Pip Harris's shop, pips-trip.co.uk, specialises in second-hand glass and pottery. For hard-to-reach dirt in, say, the bottom of a thin-necked glass vase, she uses Magic Balls (try Lakeland). "Just pop a few into the vase with a drop of water and swirl round."
For fabric, detach and wash what you can. "But with cushions it's usually the inners carrying the smell," says Becky Nolan of vintage furniture shop thepeanutvendor.co.uk. "New inners are really cheap." If you can't replace them, "vacuum upholstered furniture, then lightly spritz with one part lemon juice to nine parts soda".
"For musty wooden furniture," Nolan adds, "nothing beats the smell of beeswax."
Take the weathering with you
"Fine wire wool and wax is great for bringing weathered metal furniture and cast iron back to life."
Dilute to taste
Heather Linnitt, who sells vintage fabric cushions at eclectic-chair.com, says, "For stains on delicate material I don't want to launder, I dab on diluted biological washing liquid. For all-over soiling, put a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda into a pint of water in a spray bottle. Apply and leave it to dry. Then vacuum it."
Up in smoke
Remove cigarette smells from upholstered furniture and wooden drawers or cupboards by using undiluted white vinegar in a spray bottle. "It destroys rather than masks," Linnitt explains. "Yes, vinegar stinks, too, but it dissipates within hours, taking the smoke smell with it."
Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at yourhomeislovely.com
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
- 2 Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
- 3 Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
- 4 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...
£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...