Wood furniture has been in use for centuries. The broad range of wood types usually helps to create different furniture designs. It should be noted that wood also provides an easier way to customize furniture that you can use for several spaces. This includes kitchens, dining areas, living rooms, outdoors, bedrooms, and even offices. Generally, wood sets can be used to create contemporary or classic designs. But even with the versatility and attractiveness of wood, how can you take care of your furniture?
How To Take Care Of Wood Furniture
Do you have wood furniture and you are wondering how you can take care of that? Well, there are several ways that you can do that. Outlined below is an overview of some of the effective care techniques that you can implement.
Keep Your Wood Furniture Out of Direct Sun
This is one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to taking care of wood furniture. The sun usually fades the color of the furniture. It should be noted that ultraviolet radiation from the sun normally causes discoloration. Besides that, ultraviolet rays can also darken various types of finish.
So, how do you take care of your wood furniture to avoid such a scenario from happening? Well, abstinence is the most important and easiest method that you can apply. Place your furniture in shaded areas, far away from direct sunlight.
If abstinence is not possible, then you can apply window film. This provides a great way of handling direct sunlight or natural light. Quality window films usually reflect more than 99% percent of ultra-violet rays. Generally, window film application is an effective technique that will not block your view to the outside environment.
Alternatively, window treatments can come in handy. So, you can use shutters, blinds, draperies, and curtains. Note that awnings and shades can also block out the sun. The best thing about this is that awnings are super great during summer months because they help to regulate indoor temperature.
Note: exposure to sunlight for long periods of time usually lead to a condition that’s known as “spotting”. This is a state where your wood furniture ends up with bright and dark unattractive spots. However, you can mitigate this effect if it’s a wooden table by using a tablecloth.
Re-wax as Required
Wax is normally considered as the classic type of finish for wood furniture. It should be noted that waxes have been in use for decades to enhance the appearance of wood furniture. They help to protect wood against stains. It is a great addition to your wood furniture care package because it contains beneficial ingredients. Some of the things that make waxing ideal for wood furniture care include:
1. All-natural ingredients: most wood wax products are normally made with all-natural ingredients. The most common one is beeswax, a non-toxic and chemical-free product. Using it will, therefore, not lead to indoor pollution.
2. Wood wax is a great preserver. Adding it to your furniture care products helps to bring out the original true beauty of your wood set. Understand that the color of the original wood tends to change over time. Using wax when needed helps to improve the appearance of a dull, dry, or a sun-damaged wood surface. Generally, wax gives the wood a nice glossy glow that’s usually attractive to the eyes.
3. Improving durability: when buying furniture, most people go for items that will serve them long-term. The best thing about waxing when needed is that it helps to enhance the durability of the furniture. Wood wax products contain high-carbon paraffin that helps to protect the surface from sunlight and moisture. It acts as a sealant and its ideal for furniture in exposed areas or close to windows.
Note: when preparing to re-wax, use a product such as fine steel and a soft cloth to remove any form of residue. Use a pad to apply the wax. You need to follow the wood grain and apply light pressure. Ensure that you don’t leave the wax set for long and in case there is any excess, then remove it. You can buff the wood surface with a soft cloth to ensure that it’s smooth to touch.
Oil Treatment is Essential
Oil protects the wood surface by making it slippery and without forming a hard protective layer. The shiny protective coating helps to enliven the appearance of your furniture. It’s normally advisable to oil your wooden furniture at least every 3-6 months.
Oil is generally an important component of the wood care package as it helps to remove wax build-up and dirt that make the furniture appear old and worn-out. Natural oils will give your wood set that “forever new” look. So, you don’t need to worry about covering indentations and scrapes. From observation, natural oils enhance the depth and beauty of the grain in both finished and unfinished wood.
When oiling, you need to consider the type of oil to use. For example, standard linseed oil leaves a beautiful sheen and you only need to apply it with a soft cloth. Alternatively, you can use mineral oil because it’s a great laxative with a non-toxic finish. Other types of oils that you can use include Danish oil, Tung oil, and teak oil. Don’t use pure olive oil as it attracts dust.
Use Other Sealants.
Sealants are great in protecting wood furniture from heat, water, and sunlight. In addition to that, they help to enhance the appearance of the wood grain. Some of the best sealants that you can use for wood furniture care include:
1. Shellac: this natural product helps to enhance and enrich wood grains. Shellac normally makes wooden furniture attractive, especially those that are made with mahogany and walnut. However, it’s ideal for furniture that’s not used frequently.
2. Lacquer: if you are going to use lacquer to care for your wood furniture, then you are guaranteed durability. It normally offers long-lasting protection and its ideal for super-soft or coarse-grain woods.
3. Varnish: it’s the most common type of sealant that also offers protection against water and UV light. Varnish offers versatility as it comes in various finishes.
4. Polyurethane: it’s a durable sealant with long-lasting benefits. However, you need to use it with caution because it increases the susceptibility of wood to crack at higher temperatures. To enhance the effectiveness of sealants, always can combine them.
Regulate Room Temperature
Temperature affects wood furniture indirectly. This occurs in the way it affects humidity that in turn affects the wood’s moisture content. For instance, when wood furniture absorbs moisture content, it will expand in terms of width and depth. On the other hand, an extremely dry temperature deprives wood of its moisture content making it lose shape as well.
To care for your furniture in this scenario, then you should be mindful of room temperature. Extremely cold or hot temperatures will significantly affect the shape of your furniture. Generally, the temperature tends to distort the appearance as well as the texture of the wood. These extreme ends can cause warping or cracks that may also give pests a chance to invade your wood furniture. Make sure that your valuables’ exposure to extreme temperature changes is limited to just a permissible period and not for long.
Frequently Dust Your Furniture
This is one of the most important and easiest care tips that you can employ. Accumulation of dust particles over time leads to the formation of a firm layer on the wood. This may end up scratching the wood surface. Frequently dusting your furniture helps to remove those airborne deposits that buildup and alter the appearance of the wood surface. Some of the best care tools for dusting include:
1. Treated cloths: use non-scratching soft cloths because they efficiently pick up and even hold dirt. Treated cloths are generally good alternatives for silicone sprays that are dangerous, especially to fine wood.
2. Feather duster: this is the classic dusting tool that helps to easily remove dust from furniture. A feather duster is ideal for delicate, damaged, or fragile surfaces that need high-level care.
3. Soft and lint-free cloths: in some instances, you can use diapers or cotton t-shirts. You only need to slightly dampen them and then use them to dust off your furniture.
4. Toothbrush: it’s ideal for those hard-to-get surfaces.
5. Lamb-Wool duster: this dusting tool normally contains lanolin. Lamb-wool duster easily attracts dust particles that end up clinging on it. It is ideal for dusting off turned or carved wood surfaces where cloths can’t access. The tool has a long handle that makes it easier to reach those hard-to-access surfaces.
Note: regardless of the dusting tool you choose to use, make sure that you avoid scattering the dust particles around the room or in the air. This is because the dust will float and the still land back on the surface of the furniture. For a higher level of effectiveness, slightly dampen the cleaning tool.
Warm Water is great for Cleaning Wood Furniture
Dusting is great for normal cleaning. But for thorough cleaning purposes, it’s advisable to use warm water with a mild cleaning detergent. Warm water helps to remove accumulated sticky dirt and grease. Gently wipe the area of the damp clothing and if the dirt is stubborn, repeatedly but gently clean the said area. After that, make sure that you do a follow up using a soft dry cloth.
Note: if you are going to use warm water for cleaning purposes, then use it alongside slightly damp clothing. Avoid soaking your furniture with water as this will easily lead to damage.
Know how to Remove Tough Stains
Even with the best care tips, sometimes it’s inevitable to escape this. Tough stains can easily destroy the appearance of your furniture. However, there are several care techniques that you can employ. For example, if you are dealing with ink stains, then use a solution of baking powder with a damp cloth to wipe it off. Crayon marks can be removed by applying mayonnaise over the area and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
Thereafter, rub it off with a damp cloth and then buff it with a dry cloth. In case the surface has dark spots as a result of water damage, then use a vinegar solution to rub the spots off. Don’t forget to dry the wood surface with a dry soft cloth.
Note: when trying to remove stains using different solutions, make sure that test a small surface before you can treat the whole stain. This helps to ensure that you protect the finish and successfully remove the stain.
Keep Chemicals Away from Your Furniture
Chemical solvents mostly interfere with the color of the furniture. For instance, a nail-polish spill can quickly strip off the finish of your furniture. In case you have chemical products or cleaner products with alcohol or bleach, then keep them far away from wood furniture. You can also opt to use natural cleaning detergents that are wood-friendly.
Keep Away Pests
Bugs are already a nuisance when they invade your home environment. But there are certain bugs that can destroy your furniture by eating the wood. Termites, carpenter ants, and powder post beetles can easily render your wood furniture useless.
To prevent damage by bugs, you can create a barrier outside your home. Besides that, you can treat your wood furniture using environmentally-friendly insecticides. However, make sure that you follow EPA guidelines before you start fighting bug infestations.
Keep Your Wood Furniture Smelling Fresh
As time goes by, some pieces of wood furniture may start to produce an unpleasant odor. There are certain types of odors that are not easy to remove. This usually depends on the porosity of the wood as well as the type of finish. Besides that, the source of odor is also important.
You can remove odor from your furniture by using a vinegar solution. Although this may be considered an old-school method, it normally works just fine. In case it’s a smoke smell, then lemon oil is a potent cleaner.
Be Mindful of the Cleaning Products You Use
While commercial wood furniture polishes and sprays are great for improving the lifespan and appearance of your furniture, you need to be keen. Some of these products sometimes contain silicone ingredients. Initially, silicone will make your furniture appear smooth, silky, and attractive. However, this is a bad component that usually attracts dust. When choosing cleaning or polishing products, avoid anything that contains silicone.
Protect Your Furniture from Sliding
Sliding involves friction that can cause dents and general damage to your furniture’s legs or bottom section. No one wants to use a chair with one leg shorter than the other or tables with fractured and unstable legs. To counter this effect, there are several care techniques that you can employ and they include:
1. Velcro grippers to prevent your furniture from sliding off. You just need to peel off the protector and then apply the adhesive to the side of your sofa.
2. Felt pads not only help to protect the leg of your furniture but also flooring.
3. Rugs offer general protection and prevent the furniture from sliding off. The best thing about them is that they prevent scratches from forming on the floor. Additionally, rags help to add vibrancy as well as character to your house.
Use Coasters for White Rings and Spills
From time to time, you are going to place a hot or cold plate/glass on your table. Furthermore, you may also experience accidental spills. This may sometimes lead to the formation of white rings and other patterns. White rings and spills can cause discoloration to your tabletop. So, you need to take care of this by using coasters as preventive measures.
High-quality coasters help to minimize the chances of heat damage and the formation of white rings. You can use decorative coasters to protect your tabletop from drink or food spills while still maintaining the interior appearance of your home.
Do Constant Touch Ups
Wear and tear are unavoidable. So, this means that over time, your furniture will end up with deep scratches and chips. These are unwelcome factors that interfere with the durability of the furniture. Besides that, wear and tear may expose the furniture to different colors found in the core. You can care for your furniture by having a specialist fill the scratches and chips.
Note: when you are doing your furniture touch-ups, you need to follow two rules. The product or item used should match your furniture’s finish. Secondly, the application or repair should be directly done on a specific surface.
Types of Wood for Making Furniture
When it comes to constructing furniture, wood is usually the basic raw material. So, what are some of the different types of wood that are normally used?
1. Mahogany: this a traditional type of wood that’s very attractive. Although mahogany is a lightweight, it’s a durable type of wood. It’s, however, expensive because of its high durability and rarity.
2. Maple: it is considered as the most ideal type of wood for making furniture. There are multiple types of maple wood but all of them are beautiful and durable. The best thing about using maple wood for furniture is that it’s naturally non-toxic. In addition to that, it has grain patterns that are beautiful.
3. Oak: it’s another durable wood that’s ideal for kitchen furniture. Oak is not only beautiful in nature but also affordable. The great furniture wood will, however, turn into a yellowish color over time.
4. Cedar: it’s perfect for making outdoor furniture. Cedar has a weather-resistant nature with a beautiful appeal. However, it’s a softwood hence not suitable for indoor furniture.
5. Pine: it’s a coniferous tree that has soft timber. Pinewood makes beautiful sets of furniture.
6. Cherry: This is a popular furniture wood that has a beautiful color. What attracts most people to furniture made with cherry wood is that it normally darkens with time. So, the furniture eventually ends up with a rich dark color. The non-toxic wood has an even grain. In addition to that, it’s highly resistant to scratches.
When it comes to making furniture, there are two types of wood that are normally used. These are hardwood and softwood.
- Softwood: is lighter compared to hardwood and it’s derived mostly from fast-growing coniferous trees. Softwood includes varieties such as fir and pine.
- Hardwood: it is much denser compared to softwood. This type of wood is derived from deciduous trees that tend to grow slowly. Hardwood includes varieties such as mahogany, maple, and oak among others.
How to Choose the Best Wood Furniture That’s Easy to Care For
The amount of resources and time you put into caring for your furniture depends on several factors. You need to choose the best wood furniture because it makes the process of care and maintenance very easy. So, how do you go about this?
Buy Your Furniture from a Trusted Provider
A lot of people simply tend to check durability and affordability. However, you need to buy your furniture from a retailer who has a specialty in furniture-grade wood. You can verify this by checking the type of furniture that the retailer sells. Besides that, it’s important to check customer reviews to establish if the seller has legit items.
If you want to buy furniture that’s easy to care for, then you need to buy highly durable items. Fragile wood items are difficult to care for because they can easily break down if not handled with caution.
Softwoods are Not Bad
You don’t need to shy away from furniture made with softwood. This wood type helps to make beautiful sets that are ideal for outdoor use. In addition to that, softwood furniture is also affordable and hence offers a great way to save money.
How do you take care of wood furniture?
Proper care for your wood furniture is very important. Not only does it enhance durability but also the attractiveness of your wood set. The above-mentioned techniques are among the best methods to care for your wood furniture. They are cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, reliable, and significantly improve the appearance of your home. When wood furniture is properly maintained, it can serve you for years.