Thursday, 31 March 2016

Keeping up

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Keeping up with upkeep , with so much tatting around ?! A Herculean task.
That is why the Pinterest Challenge is my ticket to keep at it, albeit at a monthly snail’s pace.

We bought this little wooden ‘antique-look’ chest about 8-10 years back. The brass overlay work was shining, the wood nicely polished . This is used to store hand towels in the bathroom. When an item is new, maintenance is so easy (and age was on my side)! Gradually, with time & eventual negligence, this is how the side facing the bathing area started to look ; the front is in no great shape either (leftmost in top pic). One can’t eliminate water splashes completely, despite the shower curtain ;-(

This pin has been on my DIY board for nearly 2 years now. It is among my most re-pinned images.
It was finally time to roll up my sleeves & get to work.
Materials : Oil, Vinegar, rag/towel
Quickly mixed up some vegetable (cooking) oil & vinegar (3:1), gave the jar a shake – it is an emulsion & sat down with a kitchen towel (the fiber roll type). That’s all one needs!
Applied the emulsion with the towel & left it in sunshine (for better absorption).
That’s it! Didn’t even rub it in.
Applying emulsion to left panel
Left panel after a few days
I’m sure if I do this regularly, it will get back all it’s original beauty. With a single application, there has been a marked change. With a few more applications spread over the next few months, the spots should disappear completely. 
TIP : I might even mix in some coffee powder to add colour! 
Top panel immediately after application of emulsion
This was my challenge completed. But the upkeep wasn’t over. The brass needs to be polished, too!

Easy Brass Polish

Simple tamarind paste as brass polish !
Materials : Tamarind Paste/pulp , toothbrush, rag, & water.

I had a few ideas in mind besides Brasso, which I do not like much (this branded brass polish does make the item shine but for a very short duration; and it is all chemical). For vases, etc. I use tamarind pulp. I tried store-bought salted tamarind paste (Dabur Homemade) . The paste worked quickly on the least affected brass parts. 

In the step 2 (top right) of process pic above, I have tried to show 3 areas within the same brass circle for comparison : (in counterclockwise direction) before any application of paste ; with tamarind paste ; paste applied & wiped off. 
More applications required for gunk build-up
The most difficult was the left side again. All that build-up took me many repeats before I realized that if a few drops of water are added after brushing, it wiped away the gunk easily. Repeat application, brushing, adding water, wiping for as many times as required. I think the before/after pics speak for themselves.

TIP : Lemon wedges & citric acid crystals (with a few drops of water) were the other two materials I tried this time. The results are inconclusive – they would work for regular cleaning & polishing, not for old & hard build-ups. I intend to scrub some areas regularly whenever I have a few leftover lemon slices.

With a bit more elbow grease & time, I could’ve done a better sparkling job. But my intention was to start with the upkeep & keep it up in future rather than tire myself out into distaste. I am very satisfied & motivated to regularly maintain the maintenance of this box !

So I’ve moved from the bedroom to the kitchen to now the bathroom. What next ?!

Before we answer that, don't forget to take a tour of what our other 
much more creative pin chicks are up to - 
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  1. Wow, your box came up into a great look and looks great now you have done. Great job in bring it back to life.
    Well worth the effort and now you have a lovely box in your bathroom

    1. From an eyesore, it Has become a source of satisfied smile now, Margaret :-)

  2. I've meant to try the wood polish idea on my kitchen cabinets. I just haven't gotten around to it. Thanks for the tips. Now I'm more encouraged to try!

    1. Took me over two years to finally get down to it, Diane. But now I am eager to use it on some of my doors as well.

  3. Oh my word it lols beautiful! What a gorgeous item, I would keep it in my living room with pride of place. I love wood furniture. You have worked hard on it and it was well worth the effort, great job!

    1. Still not as good as new, Suzanne, but well on it’s way, yay ! And not too much hard work, either - just a matter of making up one's mind

  4. Good job! I have used lemon juice successfully, but I confess that recently I've become a convert to chemical cleaners - some of them work amazingly for specific jobs and I reckon using a little effectively could be better for the environment than using a lot of things like bicarb. I'd struggle to find tamarind paste, but I must say I like the sound of it!

    1. I totally agree with you, Jane. And anything acidic Should work on brass. I'm heartened by your success & can now confidently use lemon for touch-ups :-)

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue. Hope I can keep it up, though ;-)