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Expert's Corner — pledge

TIP: Understanding Furniture Care Products

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TIP: Understanding Furniture Care Products

Making a decision which furniture care product to use or recommend can seem impossibly confusing if you listen to advertising or read labels. But if you separate the products into four categories for what they do, they are understandable, and you can make an intelligent choice. The four categories are clear, emulsion (milky white), silicone and wax. A few examples of each are shown, left to right, in the accompanying picture. Clear polishes are usually packaged in clear plastic containers and are based on petroleum distillates such as mineral spirits or, sometimes, citrus oils. They clean grease and remove wax,...

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TIP: Finisher’s Glossary: Silicon or Silicone?

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Silicon and silicone are not the same thing, and the terms are used inaccurately so often that I thought it might be worthwhile to explain the difference. Simply put, silicon (rhymes with the man’s name, Don) is sand, and silicone (rhymes with “shown”) is an oil or gel that is used in furniture polishes, caulk and breast implants. Silicone is made from silicon but is clearly very different. It’s Silicon Valley, not silicone valley as it’s often called. The most egregious misuse of these two words I think I ever heard was a finish teacher explaining to the class that...

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