Tips for Taking Care of Fine Wood Furniture

Tips for Taking Care of Fine Wood Furniture

Now that you have purchased some fine wood furniture, it is important to take proper care of it. With some basic care, your fine furniture can last for years, and stay just as beautiful as the day you bought it. Below are some tips on taking proper care of wood furniture.

1. Wood Furniture Care

Proper care of wood furniture is essential if you want it to last. Keeping it out of direct sunlight will keep the wood finish from fading out.

Even though many pieces of new wood furniture come with finishes that are resistant to sunlight, it is still possible for them to fade if exposed to the sun for extended periods of time. You may wish to close the drapes or blinds in rooms containing this furniture during certain parts of the day to keep the direct sunlight off.

Keeping wood furniture dry is also essential. If the wood gets wet, it can cause the finish to peel or fade, and can actually warp the wood. Be sure to wipe up any spills as soon as you are able. Do not let them dry or you may end up with a permanent stain.

Protecting the tops of wood furniture is essential to avoid scratches and dings. Using a tablecloth on a wood table is a great idea if the table is used often. Besides accenting the look of your wood table, it will also protect the table surface. Never put hot pots or pans directly on a wood table top. Coasters, trivets, and hot pads can also be used to protect your table. Avoid using any type of cover that has a rubber or vinyl backing on it. These materials have chemicals in them that can permanently ruin the wood finish.

2. Wood Furniture Cleaning

Dust your wood furniture often to keep the surfaces shiny and bright. Always use a soft cloth to keep from scratching the wood. When dusting, always dust with the grain of the wood. If your furniture gets dirty, try cleaning it with a soft cloth soaked in warm water. If this does not work, try using a mild soap and water solution on your cloth, and try it again. When done cleaning with soapy water, use a different cloth soaked in warm water (no soap) to remove the extra soap residue. When done, wipe down with a dry cloth to remove any extra moisture. Scratches and dings can sometimes be removed with furniture touch-up products that can be purchased at fine furniture stores, or at hardware stores. Try to avoid over polishing wood furniture. This can result in a wax build-up which will dull the shine of your wood.

3. Wood Furniture Storage

Wood is susceptible to damage from humidity. Thus, damage can occur if your furniture is stored in a place with too much humidity, or too little humidity. Basements are generally fairly damp, so if you plan on storing your fine furniture in the basement be sure to get a dehumidifier. You should also cover the furniture with cloths to prevent a build-up of dust.

The Author:

Terry Weadock is the site manager for Furniture Complete, an online furniture retailer.

Photo. Kevin Phillips

8 thoughts on “Tips for Taking Care of Fine Wood Furniture

  1. First I want to say thank you for this website. There are answers to questions that I never would have thought to ask. You have simple answers to major problems. I found your website with the help of and my mother-in-law’s china hutch. I was trying to get the old wax build up off and I had tried everything. Except denatured alcohol. I tried it and it worked wonders. It took it off layer by layer, I used a razor blade to scrape it off. (not pushing the blade but raking it backwards with it tilted back) I let it set too long and it left a big white stain. This is where you came in. I saw alcohol stains on wood furniture and went to it. I tried the baking soda and lemon oil to no avail. It just left a gritty film.

    My husband said to try acetone, it is a fast drying solvent, so I thought it can’t get much worse and it is his mothers china hutch. “IT WORKED GREAT AND FAST” The white stains disappeared almost as fast as i wiped it. I waited a few days before i sent this to make sure that they didn’t reappear or the wood dry out. It looks great. I wiped it down with lemon oil and it is good as new. Most people don’t have acetone on hand but it is worth getting a small can is about $3.00 and it can be used for several emergencies.

    Fingernail polish remover. It is the only product that will cut super glue (that I know of). Be careful it will discolor plastics.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! We’re glad our website could provide you with the answers you needed. It’s great to hear that denatured alcohol and acetone were able to remove the wax build-up on your mother-in-law’s china hutch. Just be careful with the razor blade to avoid damaging the wood. We appreciate your tip about using acetone for emergencies, although it’s important to note that it may not be suitable for all wood finishes.

  2. I purchased some wooden living room furniture in nyc. I want to keep the quality and color of the wood. I’ve tried to use acetone, but I’ve observed that the color is slowly fading away maybe it’s because of the chemical.

    1. It’s possible that acetone was too harsh for your wooden furniture, causing the color to fade. Different types of wood may react differently to certain solvents, so it’s always a good idea to test any product on a small, inconspicuous area first. If you’re concerned about maintaining the quality and color of your furniture, it’s best to stick to gentle cleaning methods and wood-specific products.

  3. I have a lot of wood furniture that has been in my storage unit. It is all dusty and a little dirty despite being covered. I will probably use warm water to clean it all. However, should I wait a day or two before adding a polish to it? I don’t want to trap any water in the wood.

    1. Cleaning your dusty and dirty wood furniture with warm water is a good idea. Just make sure to thoroughly dry it afterwards to avoid trapping any water in the wood, as that can cause damage over time. Once the furniture is completely dry, you can go ahead and apply a suitable wood polish or conditioner to enhance its appearance and protect it from future damage.

  4. I’m glad that you talked about how susceptible wood furniture is to humidity. It made me think about my sister and how she plans to prepare for the holidays since she plans to move in with us thus leaving all of her furniture behind. Since most of it is made out of wood, we’ll make sure that we find a self-storage container where we can store the excess furniture and remember your care tips when we do.

    1. It’s great that you’re considering the effects of humidity on wood furniture. Storing the furniture in a self-storage container is a good solution to protect it during your sister’s move. Just make sure the storage facility has proper climate control to minimize the impact of humidity. Additionally, following our care tips for wood furniture, such as using appropriate polishes and conditioners, will help ensure its longevity while in storage.

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