is a Green Action
buzz word in the news these days is “Green” living.
What is “Green” to you and me may be something very
different to someone else. In our furniture restoration division
of D.J. Dietz Designs, we have been “recycling” furniture
since 1991. We started our restoration department as another way
to work with wood as we pursue our lifestyle and livelihood. We’ve
come to realize that there’s more than just the wood working
that appeals to us, it’s a sense of history, investigation,
and accomplishment that makes the world of refinishing so rewarding.
As we recycle the wood content of a hand made piece, whether made
in a factory by craftsmen working at their bench, or a great relative
working in his own little shop to create a family heirloom, we’re
also recycling the pride and craftsmanship they imbedded into
the piece. We are always amazed at the beautiful furniture that
is painted for one reason or another. Sometimes there has been
some major damage; fire, water, stains, scrapes, or scratches.
In some cases we can repair the wood, others we have to replace
the damaged parts. We usually only replace what is absolutely
customer wanted us to leave the gouges that her grandfather had
carved in the arms of his favorite rocker, the one he used at
the end of the day to relax and smoke his pipe. The tool he used
to clean his pipe was the same one he used to carve the arms of
the chair. The smell of the pipe, the rocking of the chair, the
vision of her grandfather digging in the arm of the chair were
all memories that were special to her. All brought back when she
looks at that chair and the gouges in the arm. What is damage
to one customer are wonderful memories to another.
we started the Furniture Restoration Department, one of the first
decisions I made toward being “Green” was to start
using environmentally friendly water based finishes. It’s
been a tough journey, but one that I’m glad I stuck with.
We now have many quality “Green” choices in stains
and finishes, whereas in the early 90’s our choices were
limited and the performance wasn’t as good as it is today.
We now use a pre-catalyzed urethane top coat for protection, providing
a far better finish than was possible with the water based varnishes
of the 90’s era. For those do-it-yourselfers, who like to
do their own finishing, after we’ve stripped their piece,
I recommend the poly-acrylic blend by General Finishes. It is
a good brush grade finish and they also have an aerosol version
for small projects and important final coats. You can check out
their web site at www.generalfinishes.com
. You may also purchase their products thru D. J. Dietz Designs.