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Furniture Care - Wood

Furniture Care - Wood

Wood furniture makes for a striking addition to any home. It can be simple and give a modern utilitarian look to a small apartment or feature more rococo embellishments for a luxe look in a dignified sitting room. Whatever aesthetic environment in which it's found, wood must be maintained lest it become shabby. This is not as daunting task as you might think. All it takes is a bit of knowledge and a little bit more effort. With the proper care and upkeep, your well-made wood furniture can easily last for years, if not generations.

General Guidelines

Barometer
Sunlight

Humidity

Wood, by its very nature, is highly susceptible to moisture. In a parched setting, wood will become dry, leaving your furniture brittle. If the atmosphere is excessively damp, wood will swell and any constructed joints in furniture will become distended, resulting in lasting damage. Before owning any wood furniture, make sure your home's environment is conducive to doing so. You may need to acquire a humidifier or dehumidifier to foster the best level of moisture.

Sunlight

The adage, "sunlight is the best disinfectant," is well-known for a reason. It is one of nature's most effective bleaching agents. If left in direct sunlight, the hardiest wood furniture might degrade, leaving a piece with unsightly, uneven coloring. When placing furniture in a room, be aware of how light streams into windows throughout the day. Make sure that wood surfaces aren't directly exposed for extended periods of time.

Regular Maintenance

Polishing

Polishing

There are several third-party wood polishing products on the market. The reputable ones will work well for you so long as directions on the packaging are followed. Here's is a traditional method to polish wood furniture using household items:

  1. Into a plastic spray bottle, pour a 1:4 ratio mixture of white vinegar and olive oil.
  2. Shake spray bottle to ensure the solution is thoroughly mixed.
  3. Spray the solution on to a clean, soft cloth (never spray directly on furniture).
  4. Wipe the cloth on the wood, going with the grain.
  5. Let the wood dry.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 as needed.

The vinegar will clean the wood while the oil nourishes and shines. In one or two applications, you'll see the luster restored to your furniture.

Concealing Minor Scratches

Over the course of normal household activity, your wood furniture may sustain some slight damage such as scratches. This should rarely be cause for alarm. The following steps will allow you to conceal minor blemishes:

  1. In a bowl, mix a dilute solution of mild dish soap and water.
  2. With a lint-free cloth, use the solution to thoroughly clean the affected area.
  3. Allow the area to dry.
  4. Place a bag of black tea into a cup (DO NOT use green or herbal tea)
  5. Add two tablespoons of hot water.
  6. Steep the tea until its color is similar to the wood.
  7. Dip a cotton swab into the tea.
  8. Dab the cotton swab on the scratch until the imperfection is concealed.
Teabag in Cup

Wood furniture is some of the most enduring in human history. There are pieces still in use that have lasted for centuries. If you follow the simple guidelines provided, there is no reason your collection can't enjoy the same longevity.

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