Things To Avoid

Sep 16, 2022 | Tips & Tricks

When we return a completed furniture project to any of our customers, we always offer this one important tip. Some plastics, vinyl, or rubber can have an effect called “Plasticizer Migration”. Plasticizers are defined as a substance (typically a solvent) added to a synthetic resin to produce or promote plasticity and flexibility and reduce brittleness. Plasticizer migration is when the plasticizer migrates out and is absorbed by the surrounding materials. In furniture, the lacquer top coating begins to react and dissolve due to the chemical reaction. Plasticizer migration occurs over time and can be accelerated with heat. Some common household items to be careful of are: kids’ vinyl placemats, placemats with synthetic materials woven in, the feet on the bottom of laptop computers or tablets, rubber-soled shoes and stretch film used by moving companies. These are just a few. The sad fact is that very few people on the retail side of the furniture industry know about this issue. Consequently, this information is not passed along to the consumer at the point of sale. We usually suggest using felt pads on the bottom of any object being placed on their furniture, or a soft cotton cloth between the top surface and the object. Plasticizer migration can cause serious damage that makes repairing it very difficult. In many cases, refinishing the surface is the only remedy.