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Furniture Care 101: Taking Care of Your Wood Furniture

Furniture Care 101: Taking Care of Your Wood Furniture
Katy  |  03.07.18  |  Furniture, Product Care

Whether you’ve just purchased a beautiful new piece of wood furniture today or you’re trying to make something old new again, we are here to help you with your wood furniture care questions! Below, you’ll find the basic information required to take care of your modern or Scandinavian wood furniture.

The first step to proper wood furniture care is knowing your furniture’s particular wood finish. The surface finish applied to the wood dictates the type of care your furniture will need. Keep reading to learn about each of the wood finishes and how to care for them.

If you’re not sure about which wood finish you’re dealing with, please contact us so we can help!

Lacquered Wood Care

Lacquered wood has a clear coat applied to the surface to protect and seal the wood. This is our most common wood finish and it is the easiest to care for.

Dust your lacquered furniture with a dry dusting cloth on a regular basis. When necessary, use a lightly dampened cloth to wipe your furniture clean. You may also use a mild soap (such as dish soap) mixed with warm water to clean lacquered wood when necessary. Wipe completely dry with a dry towel right after you’re done cleaning the surface.

Oiled Wood Care

Oiled wood is a popular Scandinavian finish. Furniture oil is applied to the wood surface to provide protection. It creates a wood finish that looks and feels more natural. It does not seal the wood as well as a lacquered finish does; therefore, you will need to be particularly mindful to avoid exposing the wood to liquids that may penetrate the oiled surface.

Oiled Wood Maintenance

Dust your oiled furniture with a dry dusting cloth on a regular basis.

You may notice after a certain amount of time that your oiled furniture begins to look dry. When this happens, an application of oil will act to seep into and nourish the wood, restoring the look of the furniture and increasing the surface protection. It is important to closely follow the directions of the product that you are using to ensure the best result.

(Tip: Over time, the more oil you apply to wood, the more protected it is. However, it is important keep in mind that the wood will appear darker and shinier as more coats of oil are applied.)

Products for Oiled Wood

For darker woods, such as teak, cherry, rosewood and mahogany, we recommend using our Teak Oil to restore your wood furniture’s finish. Our teak oil contains some color, which helps give the wood a warm, rich appearance. For lighter woods, such as ash, beech or oak, we have a Natural Wood Oil. For furniture with a white oil finish, we have a White Wood Oil, which will help maintain the light look of the wood. Make sure you read and follow the instructions included with these products when applying the oil to your furniture.

Soaped Wood Care

Soaped wood furniture is very popular in Scandinavian countries, although it is unfamiliar to most people in the United States. A soaped wood finish is created by applying a special type of soap to the wood. The soap can be bought as a liquid solution or as flakes that are dissolved in water. In either case, the solution is applied to the wood with a rag or sponge. The result is a light wood finish that is soft and natural to the touch.

Soaped Wood Maintenance

A soaped finish provides less protection than lacquered and oiled finishes, so this finish does require more regular maintenance. Fingerprints and scuffs show easily on this finish, but cleaning the wood with more soap will easily remove the marks in most cases.

Dust your soaped furniture with a dry dusting cloth on a regular basis.

To clean the wood and restore the finish, apply an appropriate wood soap solution using a clean cloth or sponge. Always work along the grain of the wood and apply the solution to both/all sides of the wood. Leave the solution on the wood for about 2-3 minutes and then buff with a clean cloth. Please be sure to carefully follow the instructions provided for the soap care product you select.

Products for Soaped Wood

For soaped wood, we recommend applying Skovby Care Natural Soap or White Soap (if you want to achieve a whiter or lighter look). These products can also be used together (please read the manufacturer’s instructions for application).

General Wood Furniture Care

A few things to remember when it comes to caring for your new wood furniture:

Protect the Wood Surface from Heat & Moisture

Heat and water can damage the finish of your wood furniture. So be sure to use trivets, hot pads and place mats to protect your wood table from hot items. We also recommend using coasters, table cloths and place mats when appropriate to prevent water from sitting on the surface of the wood. Water will penetrate the surface of your wood finish if left for too long.

Also, when using a damp cloth to clean your wood furniture, we recommend wiping the water off with a clean, dry towel right away. Also, use the smallest amount of water possible to clean the table.

Dust your Furniture Regularly

Dusting the surface of your furniture regularly will prevent your furniture from developing a dirty look or a sticky build-up, as well as helping to avoid surface scratches. It reduces the likelihood that you will need to use cleaners and water to clean the surface of the furniture.

These are the basics when it comes to furniture wood care. A few simple steps will ensure the finish of your furniture looks great for many years to come. If you have purchased furniture from The Century House and have specific concerns or questions, please contact us. We are here to help!

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