Renovation & Design

Leather chair easily restored with correct products

Question: I have two problems that I cannot seem to solve. One is a dark green leather chair arm that is always leaned on and has lost some of its colour, and is slightly worn. I would like to restore it. I’m a big fan of permanent markers to repair scratches, chips, and I use correction fluid to repair nicks on woodwork, but I don’t want to use any of these on a perfectly usable and still acceptably, appearing piece of furniture.

My other question has to do with a dark brown steel front door that I find impossible to clean without leaving lint, streaks. It is a painted surface that has been baked on, presumably, at time of manufacture. Thanks, Val

Answer: The colour of the leather furniture can be successfully restored with a topically applied leather finish that is mixed, to match the original colour. When correctly applied, the leather will appear new. You need to either contact a professional leather restorer or purchase a leather dye kit, keep in mind that colour matching needs to be perfect. In the meantime, you may also want to shine the leather by buffing it with olive oil or cold cream and a soft cloth.

In terms of the painted door, consider olive oil. It does not tend to attract lint; it does not tend to leave streaks and it is a product that many people have on hand. You can also try the following formula, which is great to use on windows because it does not streak. RECIPE: In a 16-ounce spray bottle combine, one tablespoon rubbing alcohol, 1/2-cup ammonia (or vinegar), one teaspoon Dawn dish soap and enough water to fill the bottle. Spray on and wipe with a microfibre cloth or crumpled up newspaper. Do this on a cloudy day or in the morning.

Question: Our problem arose after a very old bag of onions developed a bad case of rot. The fridge has smelled mouldy ever since, despite a couple of wipe downs with bleach and warm water. There is a piece of Styrofoam in the ceiling of the fridge. It may have something to do with air circulation. I wonder whether it acts as a sponge for the spores. — Brian

Answer: Leave an open bowl of rubbing alcohol in the fridge to absorb the smell.

Update: Brian tried the rubbing alcohol, and the smell is now gone!

Feedback from Contributor

In one of your previous columns, one of the questions that was asked was what a food allergy is. I would like to provide my own response.

A food allergy is when your body overreacts to certain foods. In the mild form, this can be as simple as a rash, sniffles, or watery eyes. In the extreme, this can include swelling of the throat closing off airflow or worse, a multi-system body shock which can lead to death, in a matter of minutes, if left untreated.

Individual sensitivity to an allergy may differ, ranging from reacting when it is digested, to having contact with the allergen, to reacting to it in the air. As your child goes to school it is important to read the labels of all food items being sent to verify that they do not contain nuts or traces of nuts. If your child were to have a nut product before going to school, it would be important to thoroughly wash their hands and brush their teeth to avoid transferring the allergen by touch. Finally, if you are baking anything for the class it is important to read the labels, but also be aware of potential ways nuts may come in contact with your baking for example, nut residue being left on the counter, or double-dipping your knife from the peanut butter to the butter dish and then using the contaminated butter in your baking. — Anonymous

Healthy tip

To get the full benefits of flax in recipes, consume ground flax instead of whole seeds. Use a coffee grinder to grind the seeds or purchase flax, pre-ground. Sprinkle on cereals, yogurt or add flax to baking or smoothies. — Wendy

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Have a great suggestion or tip? Please send an email at: Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website:


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