How to Stop a Cat From Scratching Furniture

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Everyone loves their pet cat but one of a pet owner’s worst fears is a cat that scratches their furniture. One can can destroy a good couch in a matter of months. As a pet owner it is important to know how to stop a cat from scratching furniture.

Cats scratch for a number of reasons, first and foremost that it is their instinct. In the wild cats scratch to tell other cats that they were there. Scratching is a way to mark territory and communicate with other cats without having to actually see them. Cats also scratch to break up the dead outer layer of their claws and to keep in shape. Cats, like all animals, are creatures of habit and it is nearly impossible to stop the scratching behavior all together. It is a perfectly natural occurrence. The best way to stop a cat from destroying the furniture is to distract it from the furniture, attract it to a proper scratching area, and make scratching their own designated areas more appealing than scratching that which is off limits. Anyone can save their furniture from cat scratching simply by working with their animal and providing all that they need to live a healthy and happy life.

Step 1: Provide Other Options

One of the surest ways to prevent furniture damage is to provide your cat with something else to scratch. Scratching is an instinct that a cat will not overcome so finding a new, proper place for them to spend their energy is key to having a happy, damage-free home.

There are many different scratching options on the market that may suit your cats needs. Before you purchase anything, take a moment to think about what your cat likes to use as a scratching post. All cats have a preference when it comes to texture, location, height etc. and these usually vary from cat to cat. Think of how your cat scratches. Do they like to stretch up and scratch in a near standing position or do they like to scratch at the floor. Keep their preference in mind when purchasing a scratching tool. You can find all different variations, from tall scratching posts to horizontal beds. Pick the one which most closely resembles what your cat already enjoys scratching.

Also keep in mind the textures that your cat enjoys. Some cats like to scratch at the carpet while others might enjoy firmer fabric. Other cats actually enjoy scratching wood, plastic, or even glass. If your cat likes smooth surfaces, like plastic or glass, try to get a scratching tool that mimics that feel. Scratching posts and accessories come in all different types of material, including wood, burlap, carpeting, cardboard, etc.

Whatever type of scratching tool you buy should be sturdy and high quality. If you buy a tall scratching post make sure that it has a large enough base to prevent it from falling over, especially when your cat is using it. If a post falls over on your cat he is much more likely to never use it again. Try sprinkling or spraying catnip on your new scratching toy to entice your cat to use it. Once they find that the new toy is fun to use they will begin to prefer it over your furniture.

Step 2: Distract Your Cat from Scratching

Once you’ve bought your cat a new scratching toy it is time to make sure that they would rather use it instead of your furniture. A way to do this is to distract your cat whenever it is scratching your furniture. If you see your cat scratching or looking as if it might start scratching any second, try throwing a toy for it or turning on a laser pointer for it to chase. Your cat will not want to scratch if it has something more entertaining waiting for it across the room. Some of the best toys are laser pointers, feather toys, balls, and toys on a string. Some cats also love catnip and will play with a catnip filled toy for hours. Make sure that you pick safe toys for your cat and take any that might be unsafe away when you aren’t around to supervise.

Playing with your cat and ensuring that they get enough exercise is important. A healthy cat is a happy cat. Make sure you devote time each day to playing with your cat. A big part of scratching can be boredom, need for exercise, or stretching. If you make sure your cat is entertained, fit, and had plenty of opportunities to stretch throughout playtime, it will not even think of scratching as often.

Step 3: Aversion Therapy

Punishing your cat after it has scratched furniture is never a good option. However, if you catch your cat in the act, you can use a form of aversion therapy to make sure they don’t want to scratch your chair again. While a cat is scratching try making a loud noise to scare and distract them. If you make a noise each time you catch them they will associate the unpleasant noise with the act of scratching your furniture. Make sure never to make distracting noises when your cat is scratching their post or other toys.

Another way to dissuade your cat from scratching is to lightly spray it with a water bottle. Do not drench your cat, use a strong stream of water, or spray them in the face. When you see your catch scratching your furniture lightly spray their back or side with a water bottle filled with room temperature water. This will teach your cat that bad things happen when they scratch where they aren’t supposed to.

You can also teach your cat not to scratch by covering their favorite scratching spot with a texture that they don’t like. Many pet stores sell double-sided tape that can be placed on the legs or arms of furniture. Cats do not like having their paws and claws stick to the tape and will avoid it at all costs. Once they’ve learned not to scratch you can remove the tape. You can also try aluminum foil and sand paper.

Cats have an aversion to some smells so a great way to teach them is to spray your furniture with a scent that they hate. There are many options that smell offensive to cats but not to people so you don’t need to worry about making your house smell unappealing. Try looking at your local pet supply store for all of the various options.

Step 4: Declaw Your Cat

Declawing your cat can be an option when trying to prevent the scratching of furniture. However, it is important to keep in mind that this should be the last solution. Declawing your cat is not training your pet but rather removing that which causes the problem. Many experts and pet owners believe that declawing a cat is highly painful and even cruel. Before you take this step remember that regularly trimming your cat’s claws can help significantly. Remember that declawing your cat is a surgery. Not only do the doctors remove the cat’s claws but they also remove the the bone joint which connects to the claws. Your cat will need time to recover but must still walk on their feet during the recovery process. Declawing is not something to be done lightly.

An alternative to having your cat declawed are nail caps. These caps are tiny vinyl claw covers that can easily be applied to your cat’s claws. They last 4-6 weeks and can be replaced over and over for life. This prevents your cat from harmful scratching while still allowing them to keep their natural defenses. Remember that a declawed cat is at a huge disadvantage in the wild and, if your cat got lose or lost, it would not be able to defend itself against predators.

How to Restore Furniture

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Furniture restoration falls under three basic processes: clean, repair and refinish. Each process requires specific equipment/tools, supplies and knowledge necessary to obtain the desired results. Picking the right process for the item to be restored is a process within itself and should be approached with deliberation and decided upon with conviction.

The restored item will not only bring you pleasure at it’s appearance but in your newly developed skills and confidence towards other projects.

Introduction

A thorough knowledge of the item you are looking to restore is essential to the final outcome. Take pictures of the item before you do any work on it. This will help if you have to replace or repair anything during the restoration.

Restoring an antique is usually best left to the professionals in order to keep its value. If you are unsure the item is an antique or not then seek the advise of a professional.

Knowing the type of finish that is on the wood will help in determining the best way to restore it. Again, if you are not sure, ask. Some of the most commonly used natural clear finishes shellac, varnish and lacquer. Some of the most commonly used true oil finishes include: tung and linseed oil, urethane and paint.

Knowing the type of finish that is on the wood will also help in the decision making process for the type of restoration you do. Restoration may include upholstery as well, which still falls under the “clean, repair or refinish (replace)” processes. The basic requirements for all three processes are the same and following them will make the restoration much easier and go much faster.

Have a clear work space where you can move around the item without having to move it any more than absolutely necessary.

Cover the work area with a disposable cloth or paper for protection and ease of cleanup.

Wear protective clothing, eye protection, gloves, breathing mask and shoe covering (or old shoes you intend to dispose of).

Ensure good ventilation prior to using and chemicals or doing any sanding.

Make sure someone knows you are working on this process and checks up on you regularly.

Utilize the help at your local hardware store or home center to understand the chemicals you need and how to best use them for the process you will perform. Read the instructions and follow them closely for best results.

Set aside one hour for set up and one hour for clean up for any restoration job. The length of time for any project depends on the size of the item, your skill level and how much work the item will require. If the project will take more than six hours then plan the restoration in stages and take your time. Hurried projects usually require being redone.

Step 1: Cleaning

Cleaning an item to restore it is just as important a process as repairing or refinishing it. Cleaning chemicals and/or a combination of cleaning chemicals can seriously damage the item if not properly used. The container should tell you what the product will clean/remove, what type of surface it works best on and what equipment/tools and supplies you will need to accomplish the task (only use products that supply this information).

Working from the top down, clean the item in the order you have preplanned the work (whole or partial areas). Remove the cleaner as soon as the area is cleaned and before moving to the next area to be cleaned. Allow the item to dry thoroughly before your final inspection as it will look different when dry and may need additional work in some areas.

Any areas that do not clean up to your expectations may need a different type of cleaner or process to correct the problem. Check with your local hardware or home center help section to see if cleaning is still an option or if you need to do some repair work. See Step 3 if, after cleaning, you need to “refresh” the finish by reapplying a new coat.

Step 2: Repair

Repairing an item to restore its finish or covering is usually something that is done in a small area on the item. If you have multiple areas on the item that are in disrepair then you might want to investigate cleaning or refinishing (recovering). Repairing falls in-between cleaning and refinishing as well as physical repairs such as gluing, nailing or tacking.

To repair an item by gluing, nailing or tacking remember to remove the old glue first, don’t nail or tack back into the same hole and protect the finished surfaces when clamping. Make sure you use the correct glue for the repair and if the joint is loose you will need to use some sort of filler to make up the gap. Check with your help section at your local hardware store or home center to determine the best product to use.

Step 3: Refinish

Refinishing an item to restore it is probably the most time consuming of all the restoration projects and requires the most aggressive chemicals and processes. If at all possible, try to refinish the item by lightly sanding and reapplying a new coat of the same finish. Some finishes will reactivate the surface of the old finish if they are the same type. Check with your local hardware store or home center to see if there are other finishes that will cover the old finish without disrupting it’s bond with the surface.

There are only two ways to remove an old finish, chemical or physical (sand/scrape). It is always best to use eco-friendly strippers when you can but sometimes you have to use a more aggressive stripper to get the job done. Regardless of the type you use, it is very important to be safe and protect yourself from these chemicals. Using a wire brush to remove the stripper is not recommended as it will spatter it everywhere and could damage anything it lands on. When the stripper has been removed from the item and been neutralized, the item must be allowed to dry thoroughly before any further work can be done.

Sand all surfaces with 220 grit or finer sandpaper to remove any raised fibers. Clean with a tack cloth or rag soaked in mineral spirits to ensure the surface is ready to be refinished. Follow the instructions on the container for the best application and final finish. Do not skip any instruction concerning sanding between coats as you will just be wasting your time and the finish will not look smooth.

If the refinish at this point is to re-upholster then use the old cloth you removed as a pattern, replace the padding with comparable material, keep the material pulled tight and don’t use the same tack holes when replacing the tacks.

How to Refinish Furniture with Paint

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You don’t have to be a pro to get a professional-looking finish on your old wood furniture. Just follow three basic steps:

  • strip off the old
  • prepare the bare wood for a new finish
  • apply a protective coating, and maybe a stain

To begin, find a well-ventilated workspace, gather your tools and follow some simple safety guidelines.

Stripping away the old

Pick a simple piece for your first project, and ignore the old finish; it will be replaced.

Choose a simple piece for your first furniture refinishing project, and ignore the existing finish. Using a chemical stripper will retain the wood’s original patina. You might want to bleach any stains you find beneath the surface.

Furniture refinishing tips

Furniture Refinishing Tip No.1 Start simple. Pick an uncomplicated piece without a lot of scrollwork – one that doesn’t require major structural repair.

Furniture Refinishing Tip No.2 You’ll want to strip the piece with the windows and the garage door open.

Furniture Refinishing Tip No.3 Once you’re down to bare wood you can actually iron out the rough spots.

Furniture Refinishing Tip No.4 Hand sanding hurts. Either buy a sanding block . . . or make one out of wood scraps.

Furniture Refinishing No.5 The fun part of furniture refinishing is when you experiment with different stain options until you find the one that works best for you.

Repair, sand, smooth …

Sand with the grain in straight, even strokes, using moderate pressure.

Once you’re down to bare wood, you’ll want to repair any dents or gouges. Following that will be several rounds of sanding – each one with a finer grit paper or steel wool. Sanding not only smoothes the surface, but reopens the grain of the wood that was closed in the stripping process.

Applying a final finish

Brush or wipe the stain on in long, uniform strokes.

This final step creates the new look for your aging heirloom. If you like the wood’s natural tone and contrast, a clear, protective coat will suffice. If not, you can experiment with a wide variety of stains until you find the one you like best.

For your next project …

Once you have the basics, experiment.

Now we have completed the steps for furniture refinishing. Remember that it is important to follow the directions that come with the products you purchase. If you have any questions, contact your hardware store for advice. As you become more experienced, you can take on more challenging projects.

Experiment with the different steps and you can try various other products. Once you get the basic steps down, you are really only limited by your imagination.

Furniture refinishing can be enjoyable and satisfying work. You can save money and at the same time practice a time-honored craft. But the nicest part of furniture refinishing is your ability to give the wood back its natural beauty and elegance.

Good luck with your refinishing. If you are careful in following the steps outlined here, I’m sure you will find yourself with a piece of furniture that looks like a million bucks, but it only cost pennies to refinish.

How to Refinish Furniture

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Refinishing furniture is an excellent way to extend the life of your older furniture or update furniture to coordinate with the decor of your home. There are many options for refinishing furniture from re-upholstering fabric chairs to painting and re-staining wooden furniture. The best methods of refinishing furniture take into account the type of furniture, the condition of the furniture and the long term plans for the piece.

Tip 1: Always work in a well ventilated area when working with chemicals or sanding.

Tip 2: Wear protective gloves and goggles when working with chemical strippers.

Tip 3: Do not leave chemical strippers on furniture for too long because they can damage wood.

For wooden furniture, you may be limited in your refinishing options if the condition of the bare wood is poor. Many times, you will not know the true condition of furniture until you have removed the outer layers of varnish, paint, stain or fabric. For upholstery-based furniture, it is best to recover in a similar type of material to maintain the shape and structure of your furniture. You may find that you need to replace cushions and other materials when you re-upholster furniture. Learn the basic steps for how to refinish furniture in this handy guide.

Step 1: Remove the Finish or External Covering

Wooden Furniture

If your furniture has paint, stain or varnish, get a wood stripper from your local home supply store. Opt for thicker solutions as they typically work better and are easier to work with.

In a well ventilated area, with a covered floor, apply the stripper liberally with an old cloth and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes per the instructions on the stripper.

With a metal putty knife, carefully removed the stripper and the paint or stain.

For thick paint, you may need to apply stripper several times to get to the bare wood.

For stain, you may need to use some steel wool to help remove stubborn or set in wood stains.

Upholstery Furniture

Determine if you can cover over the existing fabric, or if it needs to be removed. If you need to replace cushions, you will need to remove the fabric.

Take off the external covering. It is easier to start at an edge or seam at the bottom of the furniture.

Take out any internal cushioning that needs to be replaced.

Step 2: Sand and Prepare the Furniture

Wooden Furniture

Sand your wooden furniture until you have a smooth finish and even color.

Apply denatured alcohol to the wood with an old cloth to help remove final bits of color and all sanding dust.

Upholstery Furniture

Remove all excess threads

Ensure the basic structure is stable and reinforce places with extra screws or nails where needed

Replace any underlying cushioning

Step 3: Apply the New Finish to Refinish Furniture

Wooden Furniture

Stain or paint the bare wooden furniture.

Apply additional coats until you have the finish and color you desire.

After it is completely dry, apply a polyurethane topcoat to make your furniture durable and resistant to water damage.

Upholstery Furniture

Cut the fabric to the shape of your furniture. It is better to cut it big and trim it later than to risk cutting it too small.

Replace the fabric by carefully using furniture staples to attach the fabric to the furniture frame.

Hide your staple lines with piping or an over layer of fabric for a finished look

How To Decorate Your Room With Antique Furniture

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There are many things that you should preferably know to decorate your room will vintage furniture. These are all aesthetic aspects that offer great style and suitability advantages. While decorating your room with antique furniture you should always take care of the usefulness and the proper placement of the furniture. A well planned room decor can enhance the image of the room in the eyes of the visitors and can help you get much social acclaim. Antique furniture has a taste of style attached to it. Don’t miss the value added design and placement benefits while planning the interior. Each item can be put in the proper perspective and borough useful by placing t at the right place. Here are some indispensable tips hat help you rediscover room decoration with the help of old furniture.

Plan the Big Pieces First: Select Your Preference

You might have limited space in your room but a lot of vintage furniture. You might be at a loss regarding how to suit all these items in the room and whether to accommodate all of those items. Select the big pieces first of all and place those at key positions before arranging the smaller items. The racks, sofas, tables or chairs that you might have in your collection can be properly placed before the smaller items. To do this perfectly, draw a mental picture of the room and experiment with different locations for your items. You will find certain combinations give you much mental comfort. You can also consult some room decoration manuals or magazines to add class to your arrangement. A creative mind is the key to successful arrangement of interior decoration.

Be Innovative: Apply Your Mind

Being sufficiently innovative can help you manage the decoration in a favorable way. Do not choose a particular position for furniture just because it is the tradition or because you have seen it in pictures. Try to seek new arrangements and don’t stop before you have come up to your expectation. If you are open to new styles and just don’t follow set patterns or magazine page decoration, you will get much benefited by the suitable design for your room. While arranging the items make sure their usefulness is properly cultivated though the design. If you place a table or chair in a way that it remains unused or not so much used then your arrangement has not been successful. The arrangement is close to perfect when all the items are placed in a way that you use those regularly.

Don’t treat furniture as vintage but preserve properly

Generally people have a queer view about furniture antique. They treat them as very special and whenever possible keep away from using the items. But this is rather not suggested. The more you use the better the endurance becomes. Simply having these items as showpieces is not only hampering the interior but making the room underutilized. Having a sense of the necessary use of furniture is a good thing. Doing a bit of cleaning work every day can save the items from dirt and dust. Occasional polish and maintenance tasks can bring out the glamour of the furniture. Simply thinking these are useful items and to be used can help you choose these items for better regular use.

Place the furniture according to usability

Placing furniture at a place where it is not used properly can really frustrate you. Think well before where a certain item should be kept. If you really find that the placement will bring out the usefulness then only you should proceed. Just because you have some valuable antique possessions does not mean you have to keep them all before the visitors’ eyes. This can damage the impression. Rather put the selected furniture in selected rooms where it is really needed.

Decorating your room with vintage items can be one of the daunting tasks you face in daily life. While a collection of vintage items adds sufficiently to the artistic style and reputation the placement of the furniture must be proper to accommodate space and usage in the right way. Consulting established antique dealers for thorough professional advice can be a good idea before you embark on any such task. This insight will help you in the long run to decide if your home gets the right impression.