When you buy solid wood furniture, you are investing in a wonderful piece that will bring you many years of beauty, comfort, and durability. But wood furniture can only stay beautiful and useful for as long as you maintain it. Fortunately, that’s not a difficult process. Here are four tips for taking care of solid wood furniture.
Don’t Mix Wood and Water
One of the biggest enemies of wood finishes is water or any other liquid. This goes beyond the eternal problem of people who put down drinks without using a coaster. Any kind of humidity can leave a damaging and long-lasting stain. As such, it’s in your best interest to provide coasters for dining tables, coffee, tables, and other pieces. Use trivets and tablecloths on surfaces where you often place hot plates, bowls, or similar containers. Handle spills immediately, wiping them up before they have a chance to sit and stain the wood.
Here Comes the Sun
The second of our four tips for taking care of solid wood furniture comes with a warning about wood’s second-biggest enemy: the sun. Sunlight, or indeed any overly bright light, can ruin and fade your furniture’s finish and cause warping if left out long enough in a particularly bright and hot spot. Draw the drapes, keep solid wood furniture out of the sunlight, and don’t forget to move it away from heat sources such as vents, space heaters, fires, and the like.
Keep It Clean
Periodically give your solid wood furniture a good dusting with a microfiber cloth or similar soft dust rag. If the furniture has especially tough stains on it, create a solution of warm water with a touch of dish soap and use a similar soft rag to clean the stain. A little water is fine, but don’t let it linger. Get at cracks with a toothbrush, as well. Afterward, apply a light coat of wood wax to keep the piece shiny. Custom-made dining tables respond especially well to this treatment.
Keep It Covered
While it’s nice to display a piece of solid wood furniture in all its natural glory, you should keep it concealed most of the time with padding, blankets, tablecloths, or a similarly appropriate covering. Keep it away from high-traffic areas where there’s a risk of bumps and scrapes that can scratch or damage the wood. When the wood does get a scratch, a touch of similarly colored shoe polish may help you conceal the marks. There are other treatments available, but if the damage is too extensive, investigate having the piece refinished.