Wood furniture makes a stunning addition to any home. Like anything else in your home, your furniture requires a bit of care to ensure a lasting fresh, youthful appearance. Strength and durability alone are not enough to protect against inevitable damage from moisture, heat, fading, and scratches. Through preventative measures, regular cleaning, and some light maintenance, you have the ability to extend the life of your fine wood furniture. Get started today by checking out these easy, useful tips and tricks.
Protect Your Wood Furniture From Damage
It is important to remember that wood furniture is susceptible to damage, and therefore must be treated with care. Proper steps must be taken to keep your furniture looking its best without signs of wear and tear. An easy way to prevent damage is to place your furniture in an appropriate location. Always remember to avoid placing or storing your furniture in an area that varies in temperature and humidity, such as a basement or attic.
Additionally, be sure to keep wood furniture away from areas of high heat such as fireplaces and heating vents. Direct sunlight can also be responsible for fading. Using window covers such as drapes, curtains, or blinds will ensure that the item is out of reach of the sun’s harmful rays. If you intend on serving beverages or food on this item, simply use coasters, mats, or padded covers to prevent moisture rings damage to the piece’s finish.
Keep Wood Furniture Dust Free
Allowing your furniture to collect dust and debris can cause an unpleasant oily buildup and residue. Although you may choose to dust other items in your home with a dry tool such as a feather duster, this method is not particularly effective in the case of wood furniture. Feather dusters tend to redistribute dust into the air which can then settle right back into its original location, while broken quills are known to scratch the wood’s surface.
For best results, use a clean, lint-free cloth. Microfiber is particularly effective for light cleaning. Never spray water directly on your wood furniture as this can cause a stubborn film. Instead, mist your cloth lightly and follow the direction of the grain to avoid scratches. When you’re satisfied with the appearance, use another clean, dry cloth to remove any leftover moisture.
Deep Clean Wood Furniture
When it seems like dusting simply isn’t getting the job done, it’s time to consider a deep clean. To keep your furniture in pristine condition, it is important to find a cleaning solution best suited for the piece’s finish. If you’re not sure, be safe by testing the cleaner out first on an inconspicuous area. To do this, moisten a cotton swab with your cleaning solution and pick a mostly concealed area to test out a small spot. It is also important that you never use all-purpose household cleaning sprays, as they can quickly damage the wood’s surface.
Oil soap, mild dish detergent, and white vinegar are all perfectly safe for use when diluted with water. It is crucial that you do not saturate the furniture, instead simply dampen your cleaning cloth and gently scrub the surface in the direction of the grain. For carved areas and corners, a cotton swab will get the job done. Always remember to dry the piece after cleaning by buffing with a fresh cloth.
Polish or Wax Wood
After a thorough cleaning, waxing or polishing your wood furniture can help to preserve its appearance, but it is necessary to choose one or the other to avoid a sticky, gummy disaster. Wax can be difficult to manipulate and it requires a bit of work to apply, but the result is a long-lasting, protective coat that is durable and does not smear. It is recommended that you use a paste wax that is appropriate for your furniture’s finish, or make your own delightfully scented, non-toxic wax using this recipe. For some helpful application tips, be sure to check out this simple how-to guide, by The Furniture Connoisseur.
Alternately, you may choose to polish your wood furniture. Polish is much easier to apply than wax, however, it can leave a dull, sticky film if overused so it is important to polish sparingly. For a quick, DIY solution, give these recipes a try:
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup mineral oil
- 3 drops lemon oil or extract
Simply apply your polish mixture to a soft cloth and work it into the wood for instant luster and shine.
Revive and Restore Wood Furniture
If your wood furniture is starting to look aged and worn, don’t throw it out! Dull, lifeless polish, difficult marks, stains, and dried out wood can all easily be fixed with just a little time and effort. Here are a few tips for tackling these common problems:
Found in tea, tannic acid is wonderful for removing old, dull polish. Try it out:
- Steep two tea bags in boiling water
- Allow mixture to cool to room temperature
- Dip a soft cloth in the solution, and wring it out so it is damp, not soaking wet
- Gently wash wood to restore moisture and liven its appearance
To remedy damage from water and heat:
- Apply mayonnaise to wood furniture
- Massage gently with your fingers
- Allow it to soak in for a few hours, or even overnight
- Wipe with a clean cloth
- Follow with polish
To restore old, dry wood:
- Massage petroleum jelly over the entire surface of your furniture
- Allow it to sit for a few hours
- Rub the petroleum jelly into the grain
- Buff with a clean cloth
For difficult marks such as pen:
- Mix mayonnaise and rottenstone (a mild pumice)
- Work into the stain in the direction of the grain
- Wipe clean with a dry cloth
Keep your custom Wood Furniture maintained an in tip-top shape with me! Your Woodworking Expert,