From beautiful dining tables to antique nightstands, wood furniture is one of the most widely used home accessories all over the world. Dusting does little to protect wood from intense light, moisture, extreme temperature changes, and scratches. Read on for helpful tips on how to keep your beloved wooden furniture in the best shape for years to come.
Dust at least twice a week. Even small amounts of dust can lead to tiny scratches that can eventually turn into severe damage. Instead of using a feather duster that only shifts dust around, use a dampened soft cloth to remove all traces of dust. Clean out your heating and cooling ducts at least once a year to reduce dust in the home.
Skip Inexpensive Cleansing Agents
Everyone wants to save money, but opting for inexpensive furniture polish does more harm than good. Avoid strong-smelling, ammonia-based products that can strip away shiny, protective finishes. A soft, damp cloth, followed by a dry one is often better than a commercial cleaner.
Choose Products Based on Wood Type
It's important to know what type of wood you are caring for before investing in care products. Whenever you buy solid wood furniture from a designer firm, the accompanying paperwork should give you a detailed description of the exact wood type as well as how to properly care for it. Older furnishings often lack modern-day post-catalyzed and pre-catalyzed protective laquer finishes and therefore require extra care.
Protect Wood From Prolonged Sunlight Exposure
Constant exposure to sunlight is bad news for any type of wood furniture, regardless of the finish; however, if you must keep wood furniture near windows, consider investing in window treatments such blinds, drapes, curtains, or custom-fitted window film.
Prevent Moisture Damage
When wood is exposed to constant, low-level moisture, it can begin cracking or splitting. In contrast, high moisture levels often result in swelling and mold formation. Through the use of a humidifier, you can keep indoor moisture levels in constant check. In addition, always use drink coasters when needed. Cold glasses and hot coffee mugs will discolor the finish, and any moisture left behind will eat away at the wood surface.
While wood is durable, it is highly susceptible to scratches, especially if you have small children and pets. Before attempting to fix scratches, make sure the area is clean and free of all traces of oil, wax, grease and dirt. Scratches can easily be disguised with concentrated dark black tea, a thick paste of instant coffee and water or a felt tip colored marker made specifically for furniture touch-ups. Once the scratched area is concealed, you can protect the newly stained area with furniture oil. Avoid applying oil in excess amounts as this can attract fingerprints and excess dust.
Factors like dust, sunlight , moisture and scratches can damage your wood furniture in a short amount of time. Weather your wood pieces are new or delicately aged, you can keep them looking great with minimal effort and resources.