■ Q & A
Why try to save that original finish?
Antiques are the tangible historic record. They are the physical embodiment of our ancestor's real blood, sweat and tears. If they are changed in any way they are diminished. Not only is monetary value being damaged by modern refinishing, but more importantly, the historic value is destroyed. When properly preserved we can "read" or learn from our precious old pieces much as we do from books. If we change them it is like random tearing and burning pages of a book; knowledge is lost.
Unlike books, of which there are usually other copies with identical information, every antique is a unique entry into the historic record. The original finish is the signature of the craftsman. When removed, it is lost forever and we can never again be certain of what was originally intended. When sanded, the work is made smaller than original, patina is cut away; all evidence of age, and the maker's tool marks, are removed. When a modern stain and finish is applied, the past is gone.
Antiques of today will be of incalculable value to the future—all that is known is of the past. If we freely obfuscate the historic record, we cannot imagine what risk that holds.
There are rare occasions when stripping is unavoidable, yet we can refinish with natural and compatible materials, eliminate sanding and preserve as much integrity as possible. The better choice is to recondition and rejuvenate the original paint, shellac or varnish, preserving what is left for the children, their children's children, ad infinitum.
These are some of the purposes I address with my products. They are compatible with the Earth and are not only reversible but renewable. I have chosen to use materials that have been proven to work over the long term by centuries of use. I have chosen the very best materials ever known. There are no substitutes for the real thing.
It is hard to make a mistake when you work with mature products in the old way. It is even hard to make a mess. It's surprising how simple life becomes when we choose the best thing to each purpose.
Kramer's Best Antique Improver is a unique product. It is, as first thought alludes, a product to preserve, protect and beautify antiques. Yet it is more, being an ancient formulation of natural materials that give wood everything it needs to not only look the very best it can, but protect it from the things which can cause deterioration. It reconditions finishes and wood; cleans, reverses damage, and is a complete finish for raw wood.
It is unlike anything you've ever used, yet used like the simplest things you have ever used.
Try it. You will see the difference.
Kramer's Best Antique Improver:
This unique, traditional product cleans, conditions and restores existing finishes by replacing natural oils and emollients lost over time from the finish as well as the wood. In many cases, stripping becomes unnecessary. A valuable antique's authenticity is preserved. Deterioration, cracking, checking and flaking of finishes is stopped. Many times blemishes such as water rings are removed. Color is restored.
Antique Improver is the ideal maintenance product for your modern fine furniture, paneling, cupboards, woodwork and floors, as well as your valuable antiques. Modern petrochemical-based furniture polishes and oils cause damage every time they are used. When first applied, these products may make things look better, but immediately begin drying out, taking with them natural oils, often leaving gummy, smeared surface residues.
Antique Improver contains positively no petroleum products of any kind; no silicones, no tung oil, no lemon oil none of the modern products which are of no benefit to wood. It is formulated from 14 all-natural ingredients: extracts from plants and trees things natural to wood and to the natural finishes (paint, varnish, lacquer, shellac). These oils and emollients stay in the finish and the wood enriching, not drying. Results are long lasting, in fact, improving continually over time.
Used as the final finish on new or stripped wood Antique Improver achieves a beautiful hand-rubbed finish which will bring out the true beauty of the color and grain of the wood.
Simple wipe-on, wipe-off application takes only minutes. You will be amazed.
Suitable For Use On:
Furniture - Paneling & Woodwork - Kitchen Cabinets -
Floors, Patios & Decks - Raw or New Wood - Stripped Wood - Varnish
Finishes - Painted Finishes - Shellac Finishes - Oil Finishes - Veneers
& Inlays - Rattan & Wicker - Antique Toys - Tools & Guns -
Primitives - Hot Tub Skirting - Exterior & Entry Doors - Weather Wood
- Boats - & much, much more.
STEP 1: Wipe on. STEP 2: Wipe off excess.
Do not use if a water based finish is suspected or on modern brand name manufactured furniture. This is a powerful product and modern water based finishes are easily damaged with it.
Shake bottle well. Apply a small amount of Kramer's Best Antique Improver to a cotton or linen cloth and wipe onto the surface to be treated. Use enough Antique Improver to moisten, allowing wood and finish to take what can be absorbed. But, keep in mind that any excess must be wiped off. If too much is used, product will be wasted.
When finished wiping it on wipe dry with a clean cloth. "Wipe-off" is very important. You are not applying a finish or a coating. You are feeding the finish and the wood replacing oils lost over time. If excess Improver which is not absorbed into the finish and wood is left to dry on the surface, there may be some stickiness. If this should happen, apply a little more Antique Improver to re-moisten and then be sure to wipe off thoroughly. The single most common mistake is failing to wipe the work dry after application. Always, repeat always, wipe off after wiping on.
Repeat application as needed. Some marks, scratches, cracks, water rings and very dry surfaces may need more than one application, and a little time, to heal. It takes a long time for much of the damage we see to occur: it can take some time to reverse some of the more severe damage.
Additional coats may be applied at 24 hour intervals. Each coat deepens lustre and aids healing of heavily damaged finishes. When consolidating damaged fiber, or using several coats, additional drying time between coats may be beneficial; times (even weeks) in excess of 24 hours between coats offer no problem.
The natural oils and emollients of Kramer's Best Antique Improver are some of the same ingredients that make up the old original finishes. This is why Improver can go into the finish restoring, preserving; then through the finish and into the wood. Finish is rebonded. Checking and flaking is stopped.
It took time to get in this poor condition it sometimes takes a long time to reverse fully. No need to work hard - let the product do the hard work; it simply sometimes requires a little patience.
Improvement continues over time even without additional
applications. The natural oils and moisturizers of Antique Improver
continue to be absorbed deeper into the finish and wood, reversing damage,
restoring natural beauty.
Many times it is necessary to remove surface build-up before Antique Improver can reach the finish and do its best work.
This may be a build-up of grease, body oils, furnace residue, lamp soot, coal smoke, kitchen cooking oils and other ordinary surface residue which has been trapped between layers of wax built up over many years on the very old pieces.
Or, it may simply be the gummy residues left from use of common modern household products which contain damaging petrochemicals. Check the ingredients on any products you have been using on your wood. If any type of petrochemicals or petroleum distillates are listed, you will have this problem in varying degrees, based on the amount and frequency of their use. You will know this damage by the dry, lifeless appearance of the finish and the wood, or by the smeary surface which, no matter how much you clean it, continues to show fingerprints and smudges every time it is touched.
Use Antique Improver as your cleaner. Apply Improver to a soft cloth. Wipe on, working into the surface, wiping off excess, until surface is clean. You can usually tell by the appearance, or by the fact that your cloth stays clean when wiping, that cleaning is complete. Be sure the finish is then wiped totally dry.
In the case of heavy petrochemical damage, you may come back in a few days and see some of the same smearing and smudging has returned. This is because Improver penetrates into the finish, displacing and lifting out the offending ingredients. It may be necessary to repeat the treatment 2 or 3 times in order to effect total cleaning. Severe problems may require more.
Surface oxidation, roughness, and heavy encrustations may be more quickly removed and/or smoothed by using an abrasive applicator to apply Antique Improver. Fine (0000) steel wool may be used with careful testing. Coarseness of the cloth used will also affect cleansing action or buffing.
However, always be extremely careful when using any abrasive material as your applicator. Work carefully. Too much abrasion could damage the finish. Always test the product and method of application in a small, inconspicuous place. Be sure the results are what you want them to be before proceeding. Follow this rule for any product you use.
NOTE: If problems still exist after following procedures
outlined above, it may be necessary to use Kramer's Best Blemish Clarifier
to break down extreme surface damage and build-up.
Remember, always test first!
First, Kramer's Best Antique Improver cleans off grease, wax, grime, body oils, furnace residue, kitchen cooking oil and other ordinary surface residue. It floats refuse to the surface so it is easily wiped away.
Antique Improver then penetrates natural finishes (oil, paint, varnish, shellac or lacquer), removes surface oxidation, brightens and clarifies the finish, helps heal checking, hazing, cracking and flaking. Finish is stabilized and rebonded. Improver is then absorbed into the wood, replacing gums, resins, oils, emollients (which leach out over time) with materials natural to wood. Deterioration and damaging effects of humidity, heat and air conditioning and airborne pollutants are prevented from continuing to wreak havoc. Natural color and beauty are restored.
White water rings, as well as many other stains and discolorations,
will in most cases be eliminated. Without changing the antique, the piece
is made to look its best and full dignity of age is restored. Most often
a simple wipe-on application will eliminate the need to resort to difficult,
dangerous and damaging stripping and refinishing techniques.
Stop Too Soon!
Wood is pretty much the same as it has always been and needs the same things to preserve and beautify it. The difference comes in the materials used as finishes.
Furniture finished with varnish, shellac lacquer or one of the oil finishes will benefit by application of my Antique Improver. Pieces finished with one of the impermeable plastic finishes, such as epoxy or polyurethane, can't be much helped by this or any other product.
My products should not be used on furniture finished with one of the new water-based finishes. This generally means any pieces described as "designer showcase" or "name brand"—and could include any of the factory-made furniture of the last 25 years. It is nearly impossible to identify these finishes without careful expert testing. And inquiries to the manufacturer are usually of no help. My best suggestion is: if it is an expensive piece of modern furniture, with a high-shine finish, do not use my products.
This is not to say that my products won't be found useful on other modern wood surfaces. Kitchen cabinets, paneling, window sills, doors, and much more, are most times greatly enhanced by application of Kramer's Best products.
I wish I could be more specific. Used on the old finishes, I know exactly how my products react—the ingredients I use have been proven by hundreds of years of use. But, because of the rapidly changing formulae used for finishes today, it is imperative that each application first be carefully tested in an inconspicuous area before committing the entire piece.
Dusting & Maintenance:
Kramer's Best Antique Improver is a complete maintenance product for all of your furniture and woodwork. The first time you use it, wipe on and wipe off, detailed in BASIC INSTRUCTIONS. You will then find that simple dusting with a soft, clean cloth will most times be all you need. If you want to dust with a little Antique Improver in your cloth, it will brighten and enhance beauty. Just be sure not to leave a build-up of Improver on the surface. Always wipe off excess.
To use for dusting, shake well, then turn bottle over onto a clean cloth once. Work spot through cloth to absorb and eliminate wet spot. Dust as usual. Dust will gather in cloth and can be shaken out.
Pieces that have Kramer's Best Antique Improver as their only finish may be cleaned with soap and water. A light wipe-on, wipe-off of Improver, as necessary, will keep them in top shape. This works exceptionally well on such things as dining tables, or kitchen cabinets that are in constant use.
Smudges, Streaks, Smears & Clouding:
Occasionally, after applying Improver the surface will appear clouded, streaked or smudged. This is telling you something very important, and is correctable.
Pieces which have been "well cared for" with applications of wax or modern petrochemical wood-care products applied weekly over many years are prime examples of this problem. Antique Improver tries to clean off this build-up but the foreign material is so heavily embedded and the chemicals so tenacious, that Improver's light natural chemicals cannot fully penetrate and clean without several applications.
Be patient. Each application will clean a little more from the surface and then a period of waiting allows another layer to rise to the surface. This may take some time, but results are worth it.
Kramer's Best Blemish Clarifier can be used to speed the process. If used with care: it is a very powerful product capable of doing damage if used indiscreetly.
Hazing, Checking, Cracking & Flaking:
As finishes deteriorate with damage and/or lack of maintenance, they exhibit varying degrees of the conditions listed above. Multiple coats of Kramer's Best Antique Improver, and time, will at least stop the deterioration, stabilize the condition and make it a little better; sometimes a lot better.
The first stage of deterioration is hazing the dullness of an oxidized surface finish. This is usually accompanied by the faint first traces of hairline checking; sometimes with a light clouding from moisture.
Next come defined patterns of irregular checking followed by widening of the cracks until the finish begins flaking off.
Alligatoring is a condition where the finish has pulled into separated and raised rectangular bumps (after cracking, yet before flaking off). A similar condition occurs with some modern finishes which pull into rounded "pointy" mounds which I call "pimpling."
The causes of these conditions are multiple, and vary with each particular finish. Moisture, sunlight, central heat and air conditioning, petrocheměcal wood-care products, poor conditions of storage all, and more, are the culprits. No matter you don't have to know the exact cause to make it better.
For most applications just apply Antique Improver per the Basic Instructions 2 or 3 times. Then, allowing sufficient time for the product to work is all that is needed. More than a day between applications, even several weeks, will not hamper the process.
Even the dull surfaces of poly, plastic and synthetic finishes will be brightened by application of Kramer's Best Antique Improver though it will be able to do little more than brighten since it cannot get through these finishes to reach the wood and do its best work. (You can identify a synthetic finish by it's straight line cracking and pimpling instead of the irregular checking, cracking and alligatoring exhibited by natural finishes.)
Note: if a finish is heavily alligatored, first test to see if alcohol will dissolve it. If so, it is shellac which sometimes alligators with exposure to sunlight. Level and clean off the old shellac with alcohol, then apply Antique Improver.
Though helpful in some cases, be sparing with the use of steel wool and/or Kramer's Best Blemish Clarifier. These materials find much good use working with problems of this type, but can be used to excess and detriment. When you encounter pimpling or finishes so damaged that reconditioning the small remainder is just not satisfactory, then these are techniques to consider. Always test thoroughly before proceeding. It is much better to do it right the first time.
A scratch means something has been removed (either finish, wood or both). Affected wood and finish usually turn light after such damage. Kramer's Best Antique Improver will bring back the color of the wood, and make the scratch much less visible. It does this by restoring natural oils and emollients and bringing up original natural color.
On pieces where the scratch is so deep as to have cut through a layer of surface stain, pigments can be added to a small quantity of Antique Improver to restore the original color to the damaged area.
If the scratch has cut through a thick surface finish leaving a hard shadow line, the edges can be feathered with fine steel wool in order to break the shadow and make the scratch less visible.
Repairs made in this way do not replace missing finish and wood, but damage is made much less noticeable as it doesn't draw the eye. This type of damage is referred to as "distressing" and is a natural part of the aging process. This is part of what gives the old pieces their unique, natural beauty.
Kramer's Best Antique Improver is an excellent way to restore and maintain hardwood floors.
To revive an old floor, first determine if there is a residue of old wax on the surface. If so, this is best removed with a commercial wax remover. Kramer's Best Blemish Clarifier is excellent for this, but heavy build-ups of petrochemical-based waxes are most economically removed with like products. Blemish Clarifier can be well used to clean any residues of the wax remover. If floors are extremely dirty, you may want to first clean them with plain soap and water.
Spread a thin coat of Antique Improver over the entire floor surface with a brush, cotton rag mop, roller or wax applicator. Wipe up excess with clean cotton rag mops. Difficult areas may require a touch of fine steel wool for cleaning and smoothing. When finishing raw wood, it may be burnished using a floor buffing machine equipped with abrasive scrubbing pads. Most floors will require 2 or 3 coats and a little time to really start looking good. They then continue to improve with age. Buffing will add to the lustre if desired. Do not allow drywallers, plasterers, or finishers in new home construction to work over recently finished with Improver wood floors, the chemicals they use can cause severe problems. Finish the floors dead last (no matter what you finish with), it only makes sense.
Used alone as your basic floor care, Antique Improver only requires refreshment once or twice a year to look its absolute best. Once cured stands well to mopping. Do not use trisodium phosphate or oxalic acid, particularly when fresh.
Refinishing floors today is a last resort. Modern plastic varnishes not only keep getting uglier with time, but require sanding for removal. If you are lucky enough to still have an original natural finish, it is not only best, but also easiest, to preserve what you have.
I will soon be posting a more complete and extensive FAQ on floors and floor care, check back.
Doors, mouldings, mop boards, mantels, floors, paneling, cabinets, window frames, &c., all benefit from an application of Kramer's Best Antique Improver often avoiding the need to do any other refinishing. If stripping is necessary, Improver is the ideal finish to follow, as it reverses the damage done by stripping chemicals and offers the easiest continued maintenance of simply wiping on a light coat every few years.
Exterior doors, boats, lawn furniture, fences, decks, decorative trim, sporting goods, wagons, antique farm tools any wood used in the great outdoors can be fully protected. Highly weather- and water-resistant, Kramer's Best Antique Improver is ideal as a complete preservative wood finish. Two coats or more are recommended for complete protection. Annual light applications are generally sufficient, under normal conditions, to maintain full protection and beauty.
Water Marks & Stains:
Water marks on wood furniture are of three basic types. The first and the easiest to deal with is mineral encrustation left from evaporated water of high mineral content. In most cases this is readily removed with 1 to 3 applications of Antique Improver.
White water rings are a result of moisture being trapped under the surface finish (shellac, varnish or lacquer). If water marks are not too old (less than 2 or 3 years) and have not been cooked in with too much heat, they are generally removed with a coat or two of Antique Improver. Older and heat-deepened marks are more difficult to reverse. Age and heat cause a layer of deteriorated wood to occur. These are generally improved by 1 or 2 applications of Antique Improver, and may disappear after several coats.
Black water rings are a very different and generally nonreversible problem. Most times these are a result of a flower pot being set on an oak table. The water combines with a metal salt (usually iron oxide) and tannin, which is native to most wood, but heavy in oak. This causes a permanent chemical alteration of the wood fiber. Except under controlled conditions, this is not reversible. It can occur on any wood and can be caused by any metal salt or other acid. Antique Improver may improve appearance by bringing up surrounding color, but will not remove the stain.
Other stains can occur from mold, mildew, ink, berry juice, high proteins and many other materials. This type of stain, resulting from a physical presence, can be usually aided by first using Kramer's Best Blemish Clarifier and then finishing with Kramer's Best Antique Improver. Remember, if there is a physical presence, it can most times be removed -- or at least reduced. However, chemical alterations of the wood fiber are generally permanent damage. A part of the aging process.
Animal Urine Stains on Wood Floors:
Because of the acid and other elements of which urine is comprised these stains on wood floors are particularly difficult. They are easier to remove when fresh, though Antique Improver will generally at least help old and deeply-embedded stains.
The most difficult to remove are those which have soaked through carpet and been left for several years before reversal is attempted. In most of these cases it will be best to begin with several applications of Kramer's Best Blemish Clarifier before applying Antique Improver.
Start by applying Antique Improver 2 or 3 times. On the more difficult, precede with as many as six applications of Blemish Clarifier. Gradual improvement over a long period will be noted. Be patient and apply every several months.
Finishing Raw Wood:
Two coats of Kramer's Best Antique Improver offers full protection for raw wood with no other finish needed. Further coats will deepen lustre, enhance full beauty of the wood and give added protection.
After time to cure pieces with Antique Improver used as the complete finish, can be scrubbed with soap and water. Spills do not damage. It is extremely difficult to cause ringing. Most problems, when they do occur, are cured by a light additional application of Improver.
When using Antique Improver as the total finish on raw wood, apply with fine steel wool to smooth surface and burnish. Improver will not raise the grain; only enhance its visual depth and definition.
Stains are not recommended as they hide the real beauty of the wood. Kramer's Best Antique Improver alone will maximize the definition of the grain and enhance the multiplicity of color, bringing out the natural beauty from within the wood, achieving results you've never seen before. You will soon see that this is far superior to hiding the natural beauty of the wood under thick coats of synthetic stain and plastic.
Try it. Test a scrap of the wood being worked. Allow 72 hours for color to develop. In the case of cherry rock maple or similar complex hardwoods beauty will continue to be enhanced for three to eight weeks.
If, after testing, you still feel a stain is desirable, then add a dry pigment or artist oil color to Improver to achieve exactly the color you desire. Use the pigment/Improver blend for the first coat which will penetrate deeply and permanently. Use Kramer's Best Antique Improver alone for additional coats. (Note: synthetic pigments and surface washes do not produce satisfactory results and may fade over time.)
If stripping is absolutely necessary because of ill- considered over-painting, heavy damage to an original finish, or previous application of an incompatible modern finish Kramer's Best Antique Improver is the best next step.
Complete the stripping following directions of manufacturer. Wash off excess chemical with clear water and fine steel wool. Wipe dry with clean toweling. Allow to dry.
Scrub with Kramer's Best Antique Improver, using fine steel wool as the applicator. When entire surface has been saturated and scrubbed, wipe off excess with a clean cloth. You are done. No sanding is necessary. No additional finish is required though additional coats of Antique Improver will deepen and enrich lustre and offer even better protection.
Never use stripper if Antique Improver, Blemish Clarifier, turpentine, alcohol or paint remover will do. Test first. Shellac, light varnish and thin paint washes do not require stripper.
Cleaning Rusty Iron:
Saturate and scrub surface with Kramer's Best Antique Improver, using steel wool as your applicator. Wipe dry with clean cloth. Scaling will be removed, surface cleaned, and deep rust penetrated and converted to a dark oxide. Repeat as necessary to prevent rust from recurring due to handling or weather. Excellent for protection and maintenance of machines and tools. (Heaviest encrustations can be first removed with Kramer's Best Blemish Clarifier.)
Makers of fine flintlocks and other collectible weapons find Antique Improver invaluable for use as a complete hand-rubbed finish which will "come up" in only 3 to 5 coats, instead of 20 to 30 required for linseed oil or other preparations. This is a tough-wearing finish which stands up well to the rigors of use during an active outdoor life.
Antique weapons benefit greatly as the ravages of time are arrested, the surfaces are cleaned and the wood beautified.
Because Improver works so well on antique weapons, it is ideal for fine modern weapons as well. Of course, nothing can help the thick plastic finishes, which soon cloud, scratch and haze, except removal and replacement with a wood compatible product.
Military weapons packed in cosmoline are best first cleaned with Kramer's Best Blemish Clarifier and then conditioned with a few coats of Antique Improver. You will be amazed at how easy it is to make these old pieces look good.
Antique Tins, Toys & Tole Work:
Painted metal finishes benefit greatly from an application of Kramer's Best Antique Improver. Oxidation of the paint is removed and surface is brightened. Natural oils are restored to the paint. Flaking is stopped and rebonded to the surface. Rust and deterioration are stopped and prevented from soon recurring. Always apply gently to flaking surfaces, taking care not to dislodge loose pieces of finish. Blot with a soft, absorbent cloth to remove excess and give finish time to rebond. On painted, as well as all surfaces, be sure to wipe off excess to keep stickiness from occurring.
There are literally hundreds of purposes and ways Kramer's Best Antique Improver can be used to benefit. It is impossible to list them all in this brochure. Think about what you need to do and then use the product in a logical manner to do it. As you become more familiar with the properties of Antique Improver, many additional uses will suggest themselves. (Remember: always consider carefully and thoroughly test first!) Then apply exactly as tested.
DRYING TIME: Dry to the touch immediately after use. Allow 24 hours between coats. Full drying occurs in two to four days, though handling and use can occur immediately. Full benefit and effect will continue to be seen for 48 hours and longer.
TEMPERATURE: Optimum results will be obtained between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Excellent results have been obtained between 40 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
PENETRATION: Depth of penetration depends on the species and condition of the wood. On new, hard woods penetration may be only a few thousands of an inch. On rotted, soft woods penetration can be to the thickness of the wood. The wood will take as much as it needs and no more.
COVERAGE: On new pine, one 8-ounce bottle will cover approximately 50 square feet (first coat), most antiques average about the same with initial application. The second coat will go twice as far as the first, and each subsequent coat will require less product to cover and will last longer than the previous coat.
STORAGE: Keep sealed in glass container. Shelf life is indefinite. Avoid extremes in temperature, though generally heat and cold in normal ranges (zero to 120 degrees Fahrenheit) do not affect the product.
Harder woods will generally absorb less product and hence coverage will be greater. Temperature, humidity, porosity and condition of the wood all affect exact area coverage. Dry or damaged wood will absorb greater quantities and reduce coverage.
Why do some bottles look different:
One of the things which sets Kramer's Best Antique Improver apart as a uniquely different product is the small difference of appearance between bottles from time to time.
Because it is all natural and made the old way, with the rawest and least processed forms of the extracts used in preparation, there are slight variations in quantity of impurities which are themselves beneficial ingredients. There are also variations in mineral concentrations in soils of differing regions.
The product is made in small quantities, by hand, which introduces slight additional variations. The longer the product "ages" the deeper the integration of the ingredients; the longer it vibrates in the truck carrying it, the deeper the saturation.
Some bottles may look a little darker. Some may appear to have a little more "fluff." All of these small visual appearances have no effect on the efficacy of the product. It all works the same. It all works GREAT!
Kramer's Best Blemish Clarifier:
Kramer's Best Blemish Clarifier is a powerful, natural cleaner that deep cleans most materials. It penetrates deeply, never damaging wood; floats deep stains, grease and oil out of the wood; corrects severe water marks; deep conditions heavily damaged finishes. It is a vigorous non-abrasive cleaner.
It can be safely used to clean a fine French Polish or to vigorously remove thick, dry surface accumulations and surface oxidation from abused finishes. Used with fine steel wool, it speeds removal of most light splotchy surface finishes easily, thoroughly and without damaging the wood or resorting to dangerous strippers.
It is difficult to give precise instructions. Every application is unique and the requirements a little different. When the encrustations are thick, or the surface heavily clouded, streaked and smeared with petrochemical residues if it is just too much for Antique Improver to clear away, or too much work with Antique Improver then it is time to get out the Blemish Clarifier.
Blemish Clarifier can be used both sparingly and liberally. The removal of clouding from a fine French Polish finish requires a light touch, minimal quantities of Clarifier, a soft cotton cloth and patience. The removal of heavy, dried, oil encrustations is best done with liberal quantities of Blemish Clarifier and fine steel wool. Each job dictates the method and volume of application.
The best thing to do is test before committing the entire piece to a specific technique. Sometimes merely saturating a soft cloth with Blemish Clarifier and wiping over the surface is all that is needed. Or it may be helpful to apply a liberal coat and let it soak in for a measured time between 15 to 60 minutes. Sometimes it may be necessary to keep the surface dampened for a longer period of time.
For grease, oil, or stains soaked deep into wood, repeated applications may be necessary. Give time between applications for Clarifier to soak into the wood, displace foreign materials and lift them to the surface to be cleaned off with the next application. Be patient, results will be worth it. [See also: Water Marks & Stains.]
Blemish Clarifier is an exceptionally powerful product. It must be used with care. Used properly it can safely be used on the finest finishes. Used improperly, it can do damage. If at any time the applicator starts dragging against the surface, STOP, wipe dry with a clean cloth and allow the surface to firm back up over several days before proceeding.
Always be sure to wipe perfectly dry with a clean cotton cloth when the work is done.
Cleaning with Blemish Clarifier should always be followed with appropriate application of Antique Improver to restore natural oils and emollients.
Kramer's Best Blemish Clarifier will easily clean and condition dried, oxidized, oily or fouled rubber with a simple wipe. Use on automotive hoses, window seals, tires, machinery, drive wheels, belting, bumpers, etc. Cleans plastic, vinyl, aluminum or oxidized paint.
It is unexcelled for cleaning metals. On silver, brass or copper it will clean foreign accumulations and surface tarnish with less rubbing (and no streaking) than anything else. It will not remove the patina, which enriches the beauty of work well done. Can be used with fine steel wool to remove heavy accumulation and rust, or with whiting to polish and leave the metal shiny as new, with no perceptible surface residue when wiped dry. (If items are to be used for food service, after cleaning with Clarifier, wash with warm water and pure, mild soap, rinse with hot water, wipe dry with soft towel.)
This product will not harm the skin but may cause some drying. If you choose to wear protective gloves, use only real rubber gloves. Do not use latex as it tends to react with Clarifier and deteriorate quickly.
Blemish Clarifier contains some turpentine and alcohol. Both are good cleaners in their own right and can be used many times instead of Blemish Clarifier, which is far more powerful and should be reserved for the tougher problems. Each should be used with care and attention, as well as thinking through the problem and solution, before work begins. (Always test first.)
Kramer's Best Wood Food Oyl:
Contains absolutely the purest, safest ingredients for use on any wood that will be in contact with food: butcher blocks, salad bowls, cutting boards, rolling pins, noggins, utensils, infant's chew toys, &c.
Kramer's Best Wood Food Oyl protects the wood against necessary, repeated washing with soap and scalding water. Kramer's Best Wood Food Oyl is easily replenished as needed and will not turn rancid like vegetable oils or gummy like mineral oil. Merely rub into the wood with your hands, a cloth, abrasive nylon scrubbing pad, or fine steel wool to burnish. Rubbing in with the hands warms the wood and deepens penetration.
When something is going to be in contact with food, there is no such thing as too safe.
Remember, we are here to help. Please write or call with any questions that may arise.
Cautions & First Aid:
Kramer's Best products are safe as can be made, and still be effective. They are safer than most furniture- care products found on your grocer's shelf. Used improperly, however, just like other common products, they could be fatal or cause blindness.
Antique Improver and Blemish Clarifier contain some turpentine and wood alcohol. If swallowed, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Drink 16 ounces of water and get medical assistance.
Folklore suggests that pregnant women should not use turpentine.
If splashed in eyes, flush with water for 15 minutes and get to a doctor for help. Safety glasses are a good idea when using any product. If skin and vapor sensitive, use rubber gloves and increased ventilation. Always use in ventilated area. If you have allergies, only use these products with real rubber gloves and mass ventilation. Always test first!
DISPOSE OF OILY RAGS PROMPTLY—do not store. Any oil-soaked rag (even cooking oil) offers spontaneous combustion hazard.
FLAMMABLE—keep away from heat & flame! Kramer's Best Antique Improver and Blemish Clarifier will burn if a flame is applied directly to them. They are, however, not as highly flammable as many common household products.
Though the above warnings may seem ominous, these products are safer than most others on the market. The effects of improper use can at least be treated. Common sense will help you avoid a problem.
What Is Meant by "All Natural"?
Everything on Planet Earth today is of the planet, save a few moon rocks and meteorites, hence the term "all natural" is a little confusing.
The difference to which we refer is the level of processing to which the materials are subjected . . . for practical purposes, the difference between low-impact technology vs. high-impact technology.
Natural (traditional) products are the result of simple processes which offer little hazard to the Earth—those which do not require the use and depletion of non-renewable resources. Modern products not only waste irreplaceable resources, but risk the environment by the methods and waste of production, as well as disposal of packaging and surplus.
We are concerned. We do what we can.
It is little enough trouble to take . . . our Planet is at stake.