Wood is a naturally beautiful and characterful material which can last a lifetime and more with the proper care. It is surprisingly easy to look after your furniture and preserving your wood is more about what you don’t do than performing onerous chores!
Always remember that hardwood furniture will boast natural features such as splits and knots. Together with the wonderful grain of the wood, these features ensure that every piece of furniture is truly unique. Splits and knots are not blemishes and so do not need to be corrected.
How to Protect Your Wood
Any damage to wooden furniture can be irreparable so prevention is certainly far better than cure when it comes to your treasured wood.
- Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions before treating your wood as the correct treatment will vary according to the nature of the wood and the processes used to finish it.
- Never use household cleaning products or solvents on your wood furniture as these solutions will damage the finish. It is particularly important to avoid products which contain silicone.
- Exposure to natural light will cause wooden surfaces to change colour. Some woods will darken other will assume a yellow patina. Woods will fade when exposed to direct sunlight. If fading or shading is undesirable, position your furniture away from direct sunlight or cover the surface to protect the finish.
- Extension tables are particularly problematic regarding fading if the extension leaves remain stored for most of the year. As the table will be exposed to more sunlight than the leaves, you can expect the colour of the sections to vary.
- Wooden furniture will react to the humidity level of the local environment. Wood expands in humid conditions and contracts during the cool and less humid winter months. Expansion will cause drawers to become stiffer to open whilst contraction may result in minor gaps between sections such as extension leaves. These processes are entirely normal and do not necessitate any additional care.
- Wooden furniture should not be positioned adjacent to heat sources such as radiators.
- Always use coasters, placemats and tablecloths to protect your furniture when in use. Ceramics and cutlery can scratch and dent your wood. Ensure that no hot items such as oven dishes or mugs of hot beverages are permitted to come into direct contact with the wood.
- Disassemble wooden beds before moving them and cover each piece in a blanket to protect it as it is being carried through the house.
- When moving any furniture into your home or from room to room, think about the path that you will be taking and measure your pieces to ensure that they will fit through your doors. Cover furniture in a blanket when moving it to protect both the wood and the other features of your home.
- Don’t allow children to jump about on wooden bed-frames.
- Regularly tighten any hardware such as drawer and door handles.
- Apply felt pads to the feet of all wooden furniture to protect your flooring.
How to Clean Your Wooden Furniture
Wood requires only minimal care throughout the year. Just a little TLC together with swift attention to spills will ensure that your furniture remains at its beautiful best for longer.
- Dust your furniture regularly with a lint free cloth. Dust will inevitably settle and an accumulation becomes abrasive. To prevent the spreading of the dust around the room, use a barely damp cloth.
- Do not treat your furniture with household cleaning products, particularly those which contain silicone.
- Try to avoid cleaning your wood with water. However, from time to time, stubborn sticky areas may demand the use of soap and water. Always use a mild soap and wring out the cloth until it is barely damp. After wiping the affected area clean, use another clean and barely damp cloth to rinse away the soap.
- Address any spills immediately with a soft, lint free cloth. Do not use paper towels as these can be abrasive and so may scratch the wood or damage the lacquered finish. Blot the spills dry and then clean any residual stains with a barely damp cloth and a mild solution of soap and water.