Caring for your Item

HOW CAN I CARE FOR MY FURNITURE?

We're glad you asked!  Not that we don't want to see you back here, but because we are always in favor of spreading knowledge, building trust, and helping you respect your wooden piece as much as possible! There are a number of ways to maintain most furniture for decades and decades.  If possible, try these tips:

Environmental Considerations

  • Try to maintain a constant humidity and temperature in your home. Temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees and a relative humidity of 45 to 55 percent are ideal. Don't place wood furniture near heating units or vents. Dry heat will cause the wood to dry and shrink, leaving cracks. Use a humidifier in the drier months to bring the moisture up to the 40 to 45 percent level.
  • Protect it from ultra-violet light. This is hard on both the finish and the wood. The temperature of the summer sun coming through a window can go above 140 degrees. It will cook fine finishes, fading and destroying them over time, and dry out and shrink the wood, which will cause cracks.
  • Protect against extreme heat, cold or moisture. Use coasters, trivets or table pads.
  • Dust regularly. Use a treated dust cloth or a soft lint free cloth. Dust is an abrasive and can scratch the surface, so be careful.
  • Wipe up spills and wet rings as soon as possible. Respect your wood!
  • Don’t drag furniture. This can break legs, chip feet and loosen joints. If it has casters, two people should gently guide it to its new location, otherwise it should be carried. Never hurry!
  • Don’t sit on furniture that is not designed to be sat on, and don’t lean back in chairs.
     

Quick Fixes

  • Dust regularly! Most people underestimate how much this simple, fast task can do to enhance the aesthetic and structural quality of your item.  
  • For a touch up, use the appropriate color shoe polish on scratches and chips, especially to make them less visible on the feet of furniture. Carefully using a matching-color felt-tip marker first will hide it even better.
  • Polish with a water-emulsified furniture polish three to four times a year.  Don't overpolish!  If you have a waxy buildup you need to clean it off before polishing. 
  • To clean the finish on your wood furniture just use warm water and mild dish soap. Cleaning furniture with water won't hurt it -- just be careful not to soak it. Use an old toothbrush for hard-to-get areas. Wipe the dirt off the surface with soft cloths or paper towels until they come up fairly clean. Then dry off any residual moisture with a soft cloth.
  • When polishing metal hardware, take it off the furniture first. Take your time and make a note to remember what piece goes back where. Use a quality metal polish to get it shining again. Once it's buffed, put it back on, being careful not to scratch the wood surfaces. I recommend that you don't try to do this all at one time. It can be a lot of work, so take a few days, doing a few pieces at a time, instead of getting tired and frustrated with trying to do too much.
  • DON'T use pledge or other chemicals that aren't designed to specifically treat wood. Using these substances carries the risk of increasing the damage done over time to the piece.  
 

still not sure what to do?

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