BLAND DESIGN

Gilded Surfaces Care & Maintenance

THE DETAILS

I create a range of finishes to choose from that are all hand made, please be aware that there with always be slight differences in the outcome of the same style, your piece will be totally unique. I carry out every step of the process manually, from the prep work to gilding & chemical aging through to the resin sealing to protect it, I treat each piece and an individual art work.

CLEANING & MAINTENANCE

Care & Cleaning
Following a few easy steps will help keep your worktop in the best possible condition. 
•    Be sure to mop up any spillages immediately with a clean dry cloth. Ensure no excess water is left around areas where there are cuts, joint or holes. Do not leave damp cloths, sponges or any other wet items on the top front edge of the worktop, as this area is more susceptible to water ingress. 
•    Do not cut directly onto the worktop as this can result in scratches. Place a chopping board, butcher’s block or worktop saver on top of the surface for this purpose. Please be aware that gloss worktops will show scratches, cuts and heat damage more prominently than a standard matt surfaces.
•    Do not place hot pans or dishes directly onto the worktop excessively. It’s recommend to use a pan stand, or trivet for this purpose. 
•    Cleaning General cleaning of the surface requires only a damp cloth and a mild detergent or non-abrasive cleaner diluted with warm water. Abrasive scouring powders, creams and polishes should be avoided. Potentially-persistent stains should be removed immediately. Buff the worktop after cleaning with a soft cloth. 
•    Light Stains or Dirt - Clean with dry or damp paper towels, a cloth or a sponge. 
•    Normal Stains or Dirt e.g. fat, oil and dirt particles, finger-marks, lime deposits, rust, juice, coffee, tea, wax, blood, universal marker, etc. Clean with a cloth or soft nylon brush and washing-up liquid, soft soap, liquid soap or washing powder. If necessary, leave for a while and then rinse thoroughly with clean water. 
•    Heavy Stains or Dirt e.g. discoloration through long exposure to tea, coffee, fruit juice, etc. Clean with washing powder and household bleach (but do not repeat too often). e.g. lead pencil, felt-tip pens, marker and ball-point pens, lipstick, crayons, wax, shoe polish, nicotine, nail varnish Clean with an organic solvent such as acetone (nail varnish remover), methylated spirits. Please read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully! e.g. paint (water or solvent-based paints, two-component paints, spray paints), varnish stains, printing ink Clean with water or organic solvent. Remove two-component paints immediately. e.g. adhesives (water-based, dispersion) Clean with water or an organic solvent.
•    Accidental damage or excessive wear on edges can potentially cause delamination on the resin coating, this can be glued back down using contact adhesive, oil based or resin based glue. Securing in place using a heavy object or clamps, be cautious removing excess glue to avoid 
•    Mild surface scuffs can build up with any gloss finish, ‘HG protective coating, gloss finish, product 77’ can be used to mask existing worn patches. Please make sure to read and follow the manufacturers instructions before use.
•    If deep scratches that go through to the gilding occur these will need to be sealed to prevent water ingress and oxidisation of the gilding. Please contact me directly via email to discuss repair on blanddesign@outlook.com.

FITTING WORKTOPS

Please be aware that these are recommendations, follow at your own discretion, I recommend that fitting be carried out by a trained professional.

When fixing worktops to cabinets, position the fixings at even intervals. Use a drill bit to make clearance holes through the support panels on each cabinet. Place your laminate worktop on top of the cabinets, and check that it fits flush against the wall. Screw an appropriate wood screw through each fixing position. 
Fixing to Masonry Features - Do not fix worktops directly onto masonry. Use timber spacers measuring 6-10mm thick, with a Damp Proof Membrane (DPM) beneath. This prevents the transmission of moisture and provides airspace under the top, so that the composite MDF base is not compromised. 
Tiles - If you are fitting tiles above the work surface, be sure to leave a space of at least 3mm between the worktop and the bottom row of tiles. This will allow for easy removal of the worktop if necessary. 
Pipe Holes - If holes have been cut through the worktop to accommodate pipes, a 2-3mm allowance for expansion/ contraction should be allowed around the pipe. This gap can be filled with a silicone sealant. 
Dishwashers and Washing Machines - When installing a dishwasher or washing machine, ensure that a protective moisture barrier is fitted correctly to the underside of the worktop. These are sometimes supplied by the appliance manufacturer.


Cutting Laminate Worktops: 
IMPORTANT: Before making any cuts into your worktop, double-check your measurements and ensure that these are marked correctly with a pencil. All cutting tools should be sharp, and safety goggles and a dust mask should be used whenever cutting surfaces. The best results will be achieved by cutting with a tolerance of +5mm, using a portable power saw or with a hand saw. To finish the edge, use a portable hand router, straight edge and ‘G’ clamps. Clamp the straight edge to the worktop which will result in a straight, chip-free cut. All cut edges must be sealed with a water-resistant material, such as silicone.

Cut-outs for Hobs, Sinks - When making a cut-out for a sink, hob or other inset worktop appliance, use the template supplied as a guide for cutting your worktop. Any cut-outs should be carefully measured and marked. Working from the decorative surface, drill through all the corners using a drill bit (sharp internal corners can lead to cracks forming in the surface). Cut-outs can be made using a portable hand router, alternatively a jig saw can be used, tape over cutting areas to avoid scratching from tools. Make sure that all exposed edges are sealed with a silicone sealant. If you have fitted an over mounted sink to the worktop, seal around the sink with an appropriate mould-resistant silicone, to prevent water ingress that will swell the MDF.

Jointing Worktops – When joining two worktops together use either a 90° standard joint or a 45° degree mitre joint depending on worktop layout. With most orders the joins will be determined during the design process, bolt apertures and hockey stick/mitre joins can be cut using a worktop jig.