Wednesday, 4 September 2013

a brand new use for wax crayons

you'd think that traditional upholsterers have little need for wax crayons, but this week i discovered a brand new use for them, which i think is well worth sharing as a 'handy tip'.

in the shed this last week was a sweet little footstool which a very lovely lady needed 'smartening up'. i do believe it had probably been covered by the lovely lady herself the previous time as it was baggy and wobbly and looked charmingly homemade rather than 'upholstered'. 

once i'd stripped it back, what was left was a tiny very old table, beautiful but sadly pockmarked all around the top edge with large tack holes from the previous recovering. indeed some holes were quite low down and couldn't be re-covered over. they would have to be filled.

usually a traditional upholsteress with a well-stocked shed would be prepared with a few bars of Liberon solid wax filler sticks for just such a purpose. they last for ages and work a treat. 

however, mine were nowhere to be found!!! at the very end of the summer holidays every shelf and drawer in the shed was haphazard and untidy. there was no time to shop for new filler sticks either: not only was the lovely lady was keen to have her stool back the very next day, i had no time to lose if i was going to go on an end-of-summer camping trip.

what i needed that very minute was a wax filler that i could melt to create a paste, stain just the right shade of brown, use to fill the holes and, once set solid again, would stay solid even on a very hot day. 

it was time to get inventive. happily, a 10 year-old's art cupboard is stuffed with jars of wax crayons and there's always a surplus of boring brown ones. this is how i came up with a method for brewing 'wax crayon filler'. Here's the 'how-to':


1. choose three or four crayons from the art cupboard that, when mixed, would be the right shade of brown.
2. unpeel the paper wrapping and chop the crayons up with a veg knife. (an enthusiastic assistant potion maker is handy for this bit)

3. put them in a glass bowl, stand it in a simmering pan of water. watch the wax melt, which doesn't take long. the smell is just like being back at school (before they had laptops)

4. then take your waxy brown potion off to the shed (still in the warm water so it doesn't set too quickly) and use just like wood filler.
5. once set, it is easy to wipe off the excess wax from the surface of the wood. then all you have to do is polish up the woodwork, going over the filled holes too, with a lovely quality furniture wax, just as you would normally. bingo... no holes! while maintaining the original character of the old wood (which was already pitted and scarred) the wax-filled holes blend in unobtrusively. 

here's what the lovely lady's little stool looked like in it's new fabric, complete with double-piping trim. 

next week in the shed is a pretty bedroom sofa and a 1950s armchair. i also begin teaching morning and evening upholstery classes at the very fabulous @theFarm, lampshade classes at The Marmalade House and will launch my Splendid Little Lampshade Shop on Etsy (it's just starting to take shape so you can take a peep). 

No comments:

Post a Comment

oo yes... do let me know what you think. i'll endeavour to write back to each and every one :-)