Wood Furniture Care

December 16th, 2014 Paul Dekker

 Rustic Themed Furniture For Sale Online

Wood is an amazing material. What would mankind have built everything out of if it hadn’t been for wood? Soft enough to cut with a hand saw and yet strong enough to build boats, bridges and buildings. Even the best quality solid wood furniture requires regular maintenance however and is subject to problems if not cared for properly. It is much easier to avoid issues than repair them; so let’s start here.


Temperature and Humidity:

Wood expands and contracts with changes in heat and humidity; expanding with warm moist air and contracting with cold dry air. In Southern Ontario, this swing in climate is drastic and care should be taken to prevent splitting cracking of finishes. There are meters that will indicate the relative humidity of the wood and manufacturers will not warrant products that vary from the desired 50% range that has been allotted.


Keep wood furniture away from areas that experience drastic changes in temperature such as: heating and cooling vents, woodstoves, and large south facing windows. As chairs dry out you may find loose rungs and stretchers that become more susceptible to breaking.



Today’s finishes are water based for environmental reasons (earlier finishes were a large contributor to smog). These new finishes are still tough and resistant finishes but will require at least 30 days to completely harden. Finishes cannot be rock hard. As we said above, wood expands and contracts so the finish needs to do that as well. In fact, if you get a dent or scratch on your table it is far more likely to be the wood denting and the finish conforming to the new shape. The toughest finishes on the market are in the automotive industry. They will stand up to high UV levels and temperature fluctuations, and they still scratch! Wood finishes are slightly softer than automotive finishes and although they protect the wood, they will scratch.


What comes in contact:

Protect your furniture from direct moisture and heat. Have you ever noticed that after placing hot items on your table they create white marks? Use a table pad or placemats to protect from the heat and abrasiveness of the bottom of dishes. There are techniques for repairing white rings from warm cups and bowls or the bottom of a hot pizza box. Here are some tips for fixing and protecting your wood surfaces:


To start, clean thoroughly with mild soap and water (very little soapy water on a cloth) and if the problem persists, use a tea towel and an iron. Place the towel on the spot and run the warm iron over it for 20 seconds or so at a time ensuring the iron isn’t too hot. The moisture can be drawn out of the wood and into the cloth through the breathable finish. Be careful with rubber feet or pads under plates and accessories to prevent scratching as they may react chemically with the surface (Same with rubber backed bath mats on bathroom flooring).

Relax and enjoy:

The scars and scratches on your furniture will become part of the patina on the surface, and over time, will warm the look and make it your own.

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