Frequently Asked Questions: Renovations & Repairs

FAQ | Plywood | Measuring Lumber | Lumber | Flooring | Moulding | Doors | Door Hardware | Renovations & Repairs

1. Can you help? I have an idea to line the bathroom walls with plywood instead of plaster etc. Can you advise grade and possible finish as it will need to look good and be waterproof?
2. We have recently returned to Canada and are seeking some advice on how to restore our teak patio furniture. While in the US, heavy rains created a mould problem in our patio furniture.
3. Can a new piece of laminate be put on top of a Formicaź countertop?
4. How do I repair a split in wood furniture (desk)? 5. How can I preserve mahogany furniture for storage?
6. How do I restore our teak patio furniture?
7. When redecorating a room, should the baseboards be left on or off?

1. Can you help? I have an idea to line the bathroom walls with plywood instead of plaster etc. Can you advise grade and possible finish as it will need to look good and be waterproof?

A bathroom with a shower presents similar moisture problems to that of a boat, so marine grade is most appropriate. Sealing the edges is critical as this is the most vulnerable point of entry for water vapour. On a boat, fiberglass is often used, but that would be overkill on plywood except in the shower. A urethane or varnish or a good quality oil-based paint should work.

2. We have recently returned to Canada and are seeking some advice on how to restore our teak patio furniture. While in the US, heavy rains created a mould problem in our patio furniture.

Most top-quality exterior wood finishes contain a fungicide to delay the onset of mold. Oil finishes for interior use do not contain this fungicide. Marine teak oil will work and allows the natural feel of the wood to be maintained, however, it must be renewed on an ongoing basis to fully protect the wood. Avoid pigmented stains/oils as the excess pigments will rub off onto your clothes. Marine grade varnish (formulated to adhere to the naturally oily surface of teak) will provide better protection from mold than an oil finish as the varnish reduces the amount of air that reaches the surface of the wood (and oxygen helps the mold to grow). The downside to varnish is that you won't feel the wood surface directly and when varnish eventually needs to be recoated one must first strip the old varnish. Behr makes a good marine (a.k.a. 'spar') varnish.

3. Can a new piece of laminate be put on top of a Formicaź countertop?

If the old piece is well bonded to the countertop substrate. You must first sand the old laminate so that contact cement will bond.

4. How do I repair a split in wood furniture (desk)?

You can repair the split by using Epoxy Adhesive and clamping it together. The repair will be stronger than the original wood.

5. How can I preserve mahogany furniture for storage?

First use a sheet to keep dust off. Wax covering the open ends helps, but it won't protect the wood from changes in humidity, which is the real threat. If you can keep a Humidifier nearby it would help.

6. How do I restore our teak patio furniture?

Most top-quality exterior wood finishes contain a fungicide to delay the onset of mold. Oil finishes for interior use do not contain this fungicide. Marine teak oil will work and allows the natural feel of the wood to be maintained, however it must be renewed on an ongoing basis to fully protect the wood. Avoid pigmented stains/oils as the excess pigments will rub off onto your clothes.
Marine grade varnish (formulated to adhere to the naturally oily surface of teak) will provide better protection from mold than an oil finish as the varnish reduces the amount of air that reaches the surface of the wood (and oxygen helps the mold to grow).The downside to varnish is that you won't feel the wood surface directly and when varnish eventually needs to be recoated one must first strip the old varnish.

7. When redecorating a room, should the baseboards be left on or off?

When a room is to be redecorated extensively, including new wallpaper and new carpets, it is best to take all the baseboards off. This will allow you to run the wallpaper down the wall so that the baseboard can cover the edge. It will also allow you to strip all the old paint or other finish off the baseboards with a liquid stripper much more easily than left in place. You can also refinish them much more easily. Be sure to label the pieces of baseboard on the backside as you take them off and label the wall below the level of the wallpaper with a Corresponding code. An added advantage of doing it this way is the carpet installers will invariably do some damage to your newly refinished baseboards with their tools if they have to lay new carpet with the baseboards in place.