Caring for Your Custom Wood Furniture
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Our customers choose custom furniture because they want to reflect their personal style and they have an inherent respect for the craft of fine furniture but there’s also an emotional aspect to their decision too. They simply love the beauty of a handcrafted piece of furniture—like art buyers simply love the perfection of a beautiful painting.
When you love something, it’s easy to care for it—as long as you know what it needs.
Caring for custom furniture isn’t hard, but it does require a little more consideration than a piece from Ikea. Here are the things to remember when caring for your fine wood furniture so that it will still be beautiful for decades to come.
Cleaning and Waxing
You don’t need anything fancy to clean fine wood furniture, just mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft cloth. Very small amounts of water, such as on a damp cloth, won’t hurt wood furniture, but enough water to soak the wood will, so be careful to use just enough to get the cloth damp. An old toothbrush with soft bristles can be used to clean up hard-to-reach spots. Wipe everything down with a dry cloth when you’re finished.
If you discover a white hazy ring left behind by something hot (like a coffee mug or warm dish) sitting on your table unprotected, there are a couple ways you can remove it. First try rubbing the spot with a mild abrasive like non-gel toothpaste mixed with baking soda. Rub it lightly on the spot with your finger or a soft cloth. Another way is to put a soft cloth over the area and lightly, carefully iron the spot for 10 – 20 seconds at a time. Use the medium setting, no steam, and always keep the iron moving over the cloth (never directly on the wood!). Check your progress frequently—you don’t want to iron any longer than necessary.
Some advertisers would have you believe that wood furniture can be enriched or nourished with polishes and oils, but that’s simply not the case. Once wood has been sealed with a protective finish, polishes and oils won’t penetrate it.
About twice a year, protect the finish with a high quality soft paste wax. Apply a thin coat, wait five minutes, and then lightly buff the surface with a soft brush or cloth. Wait another 30 – 60 minutes and then buff again.
One way to protect wood furniture from discoloration is to keep it out of the sun. If you have pieces sitting near sunny windows, consider moving them to another part of the room or installing curtains or shades to protect the furniture.
Similarly, keep a safe distance between wood furniture and heating vents. Over time, dry heat will damage wood (causing it to dry and crack), which can be difficult or impossible to repair. A humidifier in a very warm, dry room can be helpful in maintaining wood furniture.
Give us a call today to find out more about buying and caring for fine wood furniture. We can design and build any style and are always happy to work with you to match the existing furniture in your home.