Caring For Your Furniture
How do I care for my furniture?
Almost half the weight of freshly sawn wood is water, so it’s important to ensure you buy furniture which has been meticulously kiln-dried to reduce this moisture content to the perfect level.
Once your furniture has been delivered, it’s wise to help it acclimatise to your home by treating it with oil or wax polish (beeswax gives the best finish), and to continue treating it at three-month intervals. This will nourish the timbers, creating a protective seal to maintain the correct levels of moisture within the timbers.
Waxing also protects the grain, helps the wood resist cracking and crazing (fine cracks on the surface), and keeps any finishes in the best condition. To apply the wax, move in the same direction as the grain, leave for five minutes, and then remove the wax by buffing, again following the direction of the grain. This allows for optimum protection while minimising streaking and air pockets.When applying new wax finishes, first try the wax on the underneath of the table or somewhere not in plain sight so you can decide whether the finish is to your taste.
How do I clean my furniture?Household cleaning materials are likely to damage the finish of your furniture over time. Instead, wipe down the surfaces with a clean, damp cloth. Since most woods, especially Oak, are porous, it can soak up liquid. If you have a spill, it can lead to staining-particularly ugly if it’s red or coffee. Blot the spill with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth. For longstanding stains, it’s best to contact a professional restorer.
Where should I place my furniture?
When considering positioning, it is best to leave a gap of 25 mm between the wall and the back of your furniture; this will allow air flow and keep the wood at a more stable temperature, helping to prolong its life.
Avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading to the finish. It’s also important not to position in front of a radiator, as constant change in heat will dry out your furniture and result in joints of the furniture opening up.
Likewise, avoid placing it in conservatories, where extreme temperatures are common. And it’s certainly not wise to put furniture such as Oak outside, unless specifically designed for outdoor use.
As with any natural product, your furniture will be affected by a certain amount of structural movement; this is fine, but excessive movement will need investigating, as it may mean your furniture is not placed in the best position. When placing your furniture on a solid wood floor, be sure to place protective felt under the feet; this will not only protect your floor but also the base of the foot of your piece of furniture.
Finally, Oak furniture naturally darkens during its lifetime, and daylight will alter the colour, so be sure to periodically rearrange any lamps or ornaments to ensure an even colour.