Wood furnishings have the unearned reputation of being ephemeral and not as long lasting as furniture made from plastics or metals. Be it a bentwood Thonet chair or a vertical Sapiens bookcase, wood furnishings can stand side by side with metal, fabric or plastic furnishings and actually last for generations with the proper care while at the same time they can give your living spaces the rustic, natural look that these other materials do not. For furnishings already in your home or for furniture you are contemplating buying, here are some tips to keep wood looking its best for many generations to come
- Avoid environmental damage: Too much exposure to direct sunlight or to humidity can wreak havoc on fine wood. Always be mindful of where you place wood furnishings in relation to windows, fireplaces, vents etc. Finally consider using a dehumidifier to control the moisture levels in the air.
- Dust often: Dusting can seem like a real chore since it accumulates so quickly on so many items around the house. However, when it comes to fine wood furnishings dust can easily damage the finish of many items. Dust wood furnishings often using either a microfiber cloth or a lambskin duster.
- Use the right cleaners: Use gentle, non-abrasive cleaners when polishing wood.
- Re-oil dried out wood: Furniture that has been stored for a long time in an environment that does not have controls may tend to “dry out.” In order to restore wood like this, use Murphy’s Oil Soap or similar product to restore the luster that was lost.
- Treat the wood right: Use coasters, doilies etc., in order to prevent sweat from cold glasses or heat from hot beverages from penetrating the finish and leave a white ring on your wooden tabletop.
- Remove stains and fix damage quickly: Of course it is inevitable that at some point your wood furnishings may become stained or damaged. In the event it does, don’t panic. For scratches, use a felt marker to cover the damaged area and apply a coat of wax to restore its sheen.
Taking care of wood furnishings is not as difficult as some may believe and efforts to do so are well worth the investment you have made in your furniture and your home. Just a little effort and some common sense will pay huge dividends as your furnishings stay lush and beautiful for many decades to come.