Stay busy this winter, remix and brighten home décor

The flea market is a great place to find hidden treasures. Photo courtesy of on Flickr.

Let’s be honest – it’s cold outside. And with winter in full swing, now is the perfect time for home decorating junkies to use extra indoor time to polish and mend those flea market finds or attic treasures.

Too often, we keep these treasured goodies put away because of their ability to hold on to that tough dirt and grime. Fortunately, The Maids have these helpful tips to brighten up those grungy antiques:

– Vases look fabulous as center pieces or on mantles. In the sink, clean the inside of a vase by filling it two-thirds full with a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide to water. Then add one teaspoon of baking soda. Let the bubbling action set overnight for a clean, fresh vase.

– Don’t discard a great piece of china with a hairline crack. Soak the piece in warm milk for 30 to 60 minutes. The milk fat penetrates the cracks and makes them disappear. Wash and dry as usual.

– Old photographs or papers work great as framed art. Place on a clean, old towel and brush lightly with a clean, dry, soft paintbrush. Make sure to brush from the center of the photo or paper outward so you don’t catch an edge and cause damage.

– Books and baskets can add texture and character in a number of rooms in your home. To clean these, vacuum with the nozzle covered by a nylon knee high and secured with a rubber band. To dust regularly, use a clean, dry paintbrush.

– For decorative objects like ceramics or frames, dust carefully with a paintbrush with soft bristles, or use a gentle vacuum with a brush attachment.

– If an oil painting has been neglected, clean it by lightly dusting it with a soft sable brush. Before you begin dusting, examine the painting to verify there are no areas where the paint is flaking, as brushing can displace loose pieces and ruin the art.

These techniques will help get your valuables back to their original embellished condition (and give you something to do during the cold winter months).

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