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    How to resuscitate furniture, art and kitchen gadgets with a little help from the specialists

    Those who had invested in natural hardwood like teak and rosewood for their homes will be pleased to know what experts say — they get by better when compared to manufactured wood like plywood, post floods. Meanwhile, with a lot of art destroyed or damaged during the deluge, Sharan Apparao, the founder and curator of Apparao Galleries, Chennai, strongly forbids any‚ ‘home-remedy’ which may cause further damage. “There is a dearth of good art restoration centres in the city. We send our art to Delhi-based restorer Priya Khanna, Kayan Pandole from Mumbai, or other such art restorers when required,” she shares. As the city takes stock of damages and begins the process of rebuilding, we catch up with experts who have been restoring furniture for more than a decade, to give us pointers on retaining furniture.
    Cushion effect
    Elamma Kuruvilla, who started restoration in 2003, says any wooden furniture that is damp will attract termite, even teak wood. The restorer and interior expert says, “If it is upholstered furniture, you shouldn’t just put it in the sun to dry. The flood waters had sewage, and on the river front there was a lot of slush. The whole thing will have to  be redone. You need to strip them and get them re-upholstered.” Talking about upholstery restoration, Akhil Sethiya of Tulsi’s Arterior (Details: 65643255) says one important factor is the density of  the foam. “Among the polyurethane foam and latex used if the density is 20 or lesser it simply has to be replaced,” points out Sethiya, who is currently busy restoring the furniture of a Kotturpuram house. He advocates wiping wooden surfaces with linseed oil, which will help fill the pores, and vacuuming sofas before calling for upholstery restoration within a week. Wax and win
    Specialising in antique furniture restoration, Suresh Narayan who runs Indika Creations, opines that rosewood and teak have essential oils so, an application of bee wax should do the trick to restore them to an extent (Details: 24421707). The importance of wax is further emphasised by Pondicherry-based Clemens Gruttmann, one of the founders of Aurorachana at Auroville, Pondicherry. “For any kind of wood, the mostly mineral based Indian wax is difficult to soak in. Fungus formation may occur if it combines with moisture or dust,” he warns. They import Burma wax and polish from Italy. From Rs 2,000 onwards. (Details: 0413 2622175)

    Help in the kitchen
    While Bangalore-based Housejoy has had up to 150 requests per day for restoration of flood affected appliances like TV and washing machines, city manager Prem Anand says, “The only difficulty is the availability of the spare parts and their rates.” Avail free inspection of appliances in Chennai. (Details: 18601234569)

    —Seema Rajpal

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