Wooden furniture is timeless and durable, all it needs is a little bit of initial TLC and regular maintenance so that you can enjoy it for decades to come.
Cleaning your wooden furniture
Cleaning wooden furniture is easy and low-maintenance, and you don’t need special equipment to do so. A good ole’ feather duster or a soft, non-abrasive cloth is perfect for wiping off dust. Any good supermarket also stocks a variety of wood cleaning wipes, which work on a two-in one basis: they clean and also give the wood a good, temporary shine as well.
But what happens when something gets on the wooden furniture? Say, a bit of orange juice or sticky jam? Paper towels and soft, absorbent cloths are great go-to tools for quickly cleaning the spills away. For sticky spills, it’s ok even to use a little bit of soapy water to take them off. Just remember that less is definitely the best!
To finish off, make sure you soak up all the remaining moisture and allow to air dry for a few hours. Apply a good quality wood wax afterwards to protect the surface. Use the wax per manufacturer’s instructions and use sparingly. Again, less is best! Buffer, buffer and buffer away afterwards, to reveal a shine that will last a long time.
Protecting your wooden furniture
It’s best to note that manufacturers have already often used varnish or shellac during the manufacturing process to protect the surface. Regular touch ups with wax or polish stretches this out and keeps the surface scratch-free. There are a number of waxes and polishes on the market that would help protect the wood and give it a good shine. Waxes have a better advantage than sprays or oils though, as they provide a hard lasting finish and protection. And if done correctly, they will not smear or leave an oily residue.
Aside from water, wood’s main enemies are the sun and heat. Using an artificial barrier like a rain / sun cover is great for outdoor furniture. For indoor wooden furniture, remember to make sure not to position it near sources of heat like radiators or heating vents, and try to keep it away from direct sunlight or close to windows. Heat will cause the wood to fade, contract and shrink. You don’t want your wooden furniture to dry out quickly and have those unsightly cracks!
Mending wooden furniture
For the odd scratch here and there, you can use shoe polish that matches the colour of the wood grain. But another cost-effective, yet natural way to take care of scratches is by using a walnut (plus, you can snack on any unused walnuts afterwards!)
This little trick is quite simple: rub a walnut back and forth across the entire length of the scratch, and then leave it alone for thirty minutes for the natural oils to seep through. Again, buffering afterwards with a soft, non-abrasive cloth is the final finish to everything!
For the odd broken leg or tabletop, any DIY enthusiast can easily renovate wooden furniture. However for major structural repairs, I recommend leaving it in the capable hands of a carpenter or joiner.