Whether it’s walnut, oak, maple, mahogany, or pine, adding wooden furniture to your living space is an easy, timeless way to add some classy elegance. Lumber’s durability, visual aesthetics, and timeless appeal make it an easy choice for all kinds of rooms, and looked after well, it can stay in your home for generations.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges that crop up when it comes to protecting your wooden furniture. But a recommended maintenance routine can preserve the appearance and lifespan of these furnishings.
Read on for tips on safeguarding your investments, and how to look after your wooden furniture.
You might think of your wooden furniture as a lovely addition to your aesthetic, as functional or decorative artwork. But there are others who would love to call them a tasty snack, or even home itself. These are white ants, or white termites, and they are the first who will attempt to damage your wooden furniture.
If you suspect termites may be infesting your wood, the best course of action is to leave white ant treatment to the professionals, as often trying to remove them yourself can lead to the termites vacating the area for a short time before returning, or moving onto another piece of furniture and start damaging that too.
Once your wood has been expertly treated and protected, create a strong barrier between your furniture and the threat of destructive pests by sealing the visible cracks and gaps with fillers, varnishes, finishes, or caulking. This prevents them from gaining access and attacking the timber’s structural integrity.
Make it difficult for other crawling bugs to enter by elevating the furniture using rises or glides. Conduct periodic visual inspections and look for signs of pest activity, including sawdust and small holes indicating chewing activity and discarded wings. Store the furniture in a dry and ventilated area when it isn’t in use. Moisture and inclement conditions make the environment susceptible to pest invasion.
Cleaning And Dusting
Regular cleaning of wooden furniture removes and prevents buildups of dirt and grime. Dusting prevents the accumulation of abrasives, which can scratch the furniture’s surfaces and degrade the wood’s natural beauty.
Choose products specifically designed for cleaning and preserving wood furniture. To prevent damaged finishes and keep natural oils, avoid harsh chemicals. Instead, use a mixture of water, gentle soaps, or specialised wood cleaning solutions.
Lightly dampen your clean cotton cloth with the soap mixture and immediately wipe away excess dampness. Test your solution in an inconspicuous area for discolouration before moving on to the rest of the piece. This is critical when cleaning antiques and sensitive wood.
For dusting, use lint-free soft cloths or microfibre dusters. Old-school feather dusters may also be used, but avoid fake ones made of abrasive synthetic materials.
Use a soft bristle brush to reach those areas of your furniture featuring intricate carving and other hard-to-reach spots. Pay special attention to hardware attachment points and wooden joint connections. Dust and foreign particles build up and lead to moisture accumulation, something we want to avoid. Use your brush to loosen up this buildup and remove it from the wood using a vacuum.
Scratch Removal And Prevention
To enhance the natural lustre of your furniture and establish a protective layer against wear and moisture, you’ll want to use a quality wax & polish routine. Rejuvenate ageing timber and make it look new again by choosing a polish to suit your wood type and finish.
Options include spray-on and liquid polishes, and paste waxes. Keep it all-natural with beeswax and carnauba, which offer durable protective properties. Avoid silicone-based products as they may lead to sticky buildups over time. When cleaning antiques, use a trusted product intended explicitly for aged, delicate wood.
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Normally you’ll apply a small amount to a clean, soft, lint-free cloth. Work the product into the wood using circular motions, ensuring even coverage throughout. Don’t forget the joints, corners, and edges, especially for daily use desks. Use a cotton swab to reach delicate carved areas.
After the polish or wax has dried and settled, buff the area with a clean cotton or microfibre cloth or buffing pad. This helps to distribute the product evenly, removes excess, and provides a beautiful shine.
Use soft furniture pads, coasters, and mats underneath any items such as lamps, vases, planters, tableware, or ashtrays that come into direct contact with furniture wood. This reduces the chance of scratch buildup and the need for restoration tasks.
Finally, protect wooden furniture from UV damage by placing it away from direct sunlight exposure, which fades, warps, and discolours wood over time. Use window accessories, including sheer drapes and curtains, or UV-filtering window films to reduce inbound sunlight intensity.
Moisture is a significant threat to your wooden furniture, and managing it is important to preserve the appearance and structural integrity of your furnishings.
Excessive humidity may lead to unsightly warping and swelling, destroying furniture’s usability and resale value. With those effects also comes harmful mould and mildew buildup. Take proactive steps to manage these threats by using drink coasters, meal placemats, and wiping spills quickly.
Ensure you have proper air circulation and ventilation while using a humidifier to maintain a constant humidity reading in your home. Have regular inspections conducted for mould buildup in HVAC systems. In especially moist climates, consider using desiccants to absorb the excess. For outdoor furniture, it’s wise to ensure your pieces are adequately sealed against rain or inclement weather and shielded from sunlight when not in use.
Furniture Care For A Lifetime of Service
We’ve shown that preserving your wood furniture’s intrinsic beauty and craftsmanship with these easy-to-implement routines ensures your investments will last and continue to serve your family as you pass them down to future generations. Adopting these habits not only safeguards the physical integrity of your furniture but also maintains a connection to the past, creating a legacy of enduring elegance for years to come.