I have mentioned before that I am kind of a selective perfectionist when it comes to decor. Uneven seams on my hand sewn curtains or painting without priming? Eh. No big. Wrinkles on my bed or crooked pictures on the wall? Big deal. You can imagine how I felt about a having water stains on my wood furniture.
They were a huge deal ~ a real thorn in my side.
Until recently, when I was finally able to remove them. My furniture looks perfect again and I can breathe easier when I pass by and peek at the wood, but for years, they were a source of angst for this decor addict.
Let me set the stage.
A few years ago, my oldest had a problem with her eye. She had a stye that would not go away and along with the antibiotics, the doctor recommended hot soaks. Well...sort of. What he actually prescribed, was a hot potato applied to the eyelid several times a day.
The reasoning behind this method was that the potato held onto the moist heat longer than a compress and would therefore work better to reduce the stye. While this particular remedy did not cure my daughter, she required an awful surgery for that (horrible), there was no arguing that the potato stayed hot for an extended period of time.
As a matter of fact, it stayed so hot and wet for so long that wherever she decided to put it down, also got hot and wet. Not so bad if it was on her bed or the couch or the rug, but truly damaging when she set it on my nightstands, my end or coffee tables.
After weeks of treatment, several pieces of my gorgeous wooden furniture were covered in water stains and I tried everything to get them out with no success.
For years I arranged my magazines, picture frames and candles to cover the branded areas. It was not always optimal when it came to design and I was so frustrated. Not to mention the fact that some pieces were antiques and another was a relatively new treasure made from reclaimed wood.
Then this past winter, I was on Facebook and saw a post from LoveFeast Table, you know, the ladies that sell those fabulous velvet pumpkins? Anyway, they talked about removing water spots with an iron. Hmmm. I hadn't tried that before. I had worked with mayonnaise, vaseline, olive oil and baking soda. The only thing I hadn't tried was heat. I was desperate and decided to give it a shot.
I figured I had nothing to lose.
But those stains.
Here's what I did.
I started with a hot iron, no steam. I grabbed one of my husband's undershirts and starting applying heat in a circular motion over the spot. I was timid at first, but once I could see that no damage was being done to the table, I really dug in.
I had to use a lot of heat to see results, but in no time at all, it disappeared.
I repeated the steps on each piece of affected furniture until all of the water stains were gone...
...and my tables were just like new.
Like I said, I did this several months ago and I waited to share this with you now, because I wanted to make sure that the results would last.
I also would like to point out that my water stains were old. They had been there for several years and they came out in seconds.
I really thought that my furniture was beyond repair, but apparently not so.
It's perfect again.
Of course, more importantly, so is my baby's eye.
Too bad we couldn't have just ironed that problem out as easily.
Have you ever tried the iron method?