10 Tips to make your Wood Furniture Last!
10 Tips to make your Wood Furniture Last!
Proper care is generally very easy and a little bit of effort every few weeks or months depending on your environment will assist in making your products last a lifetime or generations to come! The following recommendations have been compiled and summarized from numerous, reputable sources.
- Keep it Clean
Cleaning the furniture can be as simple as wiping off dust and dirt. In time these particles can build-up and create a film that will become increasingly difficult to remove. Get a white clean cloth and lightly moisten with water. Wipe with the grain of the wood and quickly follow with a dry rag to remove the dust/debris. (Do not use all-purpose cleaners, detergents, or soak the wood. This could damage the furniture permanently)
- Protect the Furniture
After cleaning topical dust and debris you should then use a spray or polish to keep the wood looking fresh. Remember to not use too much of these products as it could soak into the grain and leave an undesirable look. We recommend spraying the product onto a cloth and then wiping in the direction of the grain.
- Clean and Dust Often
Dust, dirt and other debris can float through the air and land on your furniture. When the furniture is being used these particles can sometimes scratch the surface. These scratches can be very obvious if you have a very smooth finish. Following steps 1 and 2 will help ensure your furniture keeps that lasting shine.
- Remove Stubborn Stains
Dark Stains: Use a product that contains vinegar to remove dark spots from the furniture finish. Blot the stains with a vinegar soaked rug repeatedly to remove these unsightly marks. Repeat as necessary and dry any access liquid.
White Marks/Rings from Cups: Condensation or Sweat from drinking glasses can be removed with a mixture of baking soda and toothpaste. Rub this paste combination into the problem area of the defect until the white marks are gone.
Waxy substance: Sometimes “Murphy’s Oil Soap” can be used to remove crayon marks. Also believe it or not mayonnaise can be used for crayons or candle residue. Let the product sit in the affected area for about 5 minutes to soak in and then wipe away with a clean/dry cloth.
- Placement is Key
Do not arrange your wood products in your living space where they are in direct contact with damaging environmental effects. This includes direct sunlight, fireplaces, heating/cooling vents, cooking areas, etc. These factors can dry out the wood, make it fade, or cause other permanent effects.
- Address Minor and Major Scratches
Accidents happen. Wood is preferred for furniture construction because of its beauty and durability but like most materials it’s not invincible. Light scratches can sometimes be concealed with a simple furniture polish. If that doesn’t work then clean the area thoroughly and try a scratch cover product like “Old English” or “Howard Restore-A-Finish”. If that doesn’t hide the scratches because they are too deep then move up to a wax-like product like “Guardsman Wood Filler Sticks” Finally if none of those products work to your satisfaction you can try sanding, cleaning, staining or just paint the wood to bring the product back to life.
- Do Not Let Wood Dry Out
If wood furniture becomes too dry it will begin shrinking and possibly cracking. Keeping just a little bit of moisture in the wood will avoid this type of damage. If you wish to apply a little oil, please first clean the product using step 1. “Murphy’s Oil Soap” is a favorite among furniture repairmen/women. Use a fine steel wool like #0000 and move along the grain to clean any oil, dust, debris. Afterwards, evenly apply recommended wood oil like Linseed or Lemon oil to the surface. Generally you will want the oil to soak into the wood for 10-20 minutes and then wipe off any excess oil with a clean cloth.
- Apply Wax as Needed
Sometimes certain wood products will require a wax finish. Depending on the size of the furniture or the amount of surface space to apply the wax you might need a marble or golf ball size of wax to evenly coat the furniture. Again make sure the furniture is very clean before applying the wax. Apply the wax to a clean cloth and then rub into the direction of the grain for maximum absorption. Make sure to remove any excess wax with a new cloth. You will notice the surface of the product begin to become dull. To make quick work of the wax procedure you may also use lamb’s wool attached to a powered buffer tool.
- Smelly Wood Remedy
Vintage, Antique, or older solid/veneered wood furniture over time can develop a smell. The smell comes from the environment where the furniture is placed. Humans, Pets, Cooking odors, etc can all contribute to this smell and its recommended to apply baking soda to absorb the odors. You can also use a charcoal product inside the cabinet doors or drawers to soak up the unpleasant smells.
- Do Not Abuse the Furniture
Remain conscious when putting hot/cold/wet plates, pans, pots, pizza boxes, etc directly on the surface of wood. Instead use a substrate like a thick cloth or cutting board to protect your furniture. Also it is recommended to use a coaster for cups, coffee mugs. Also protect your dining table from dust, debris, or damage by using a table cloth. You may also want to consider using placemats while eating at the table and to also give a decorative touch to your dining experience. These simple coverings will go a long way in protecting your furniture.