Solid wood furniture can last for generations…when it’s properly cared for. Discover how to care for solid wood furniture today. The last thing you need is for your solid wood furniture investment to split, crack, or scratch. In this video, we show how to avoid those common issues, as well as how to protect your wood finish from water damage and heat damage, and much more. Solid wood furniture is a natural material that responds to its environment, but with these 6 tips you’ll be well on your way to maintaining your furniture for a lifetime of use. Find all our Furniture Care products at the link.
Furniture Care Tips
Cracking Due to Humidity
The number one problem our customers have with their furniture is swelling or shrinking of wood. This can cause problems such as doors sticking or cracking in the wood, and there’s one big reason for this problem: humidity. Wood is a natural material and will respond to its environment. Wood tends to expand in a humid climate and contract in a dry climate, so be aware of the humidity in your region of the country and utilize air conditioning and humidifiers to maintain consistent humidity in your home. We recommend keeping a hygrometer to measure the humidity in your home, and be careful about your furniture’s proximity to heating and cooling vents.
Problems with Water and Heat
Both water and heat can cause the finish to lift off the wood surface, causing a foggy, white spot. A good rule of thumb is if an object is too hot to hold comfortably, don’t set that object on your table. Protect your tabletops from heat and water damage with hot pads and coasters. If liquid is spilled on your table, simply wipe it up before it soaks through the finish.
Furniture Polish Recommendations
Clean your furniture regularly with a warm, damp rag with a little soap. Avoid silicone-based furniture polish, including many widely-available commercial brands, which can leave a spotty shine and create buildup. Wax does little to protect varnished wood, and creates a filmy buildup over time. We recommend light application of silicone-free and wax-free polish when you feel your furniture needs a fresh shine. Our favorite is the Heirloom Essentials cleaner and polish.
All DutchCrafters hardwood furniture is protected with catalyzed conversion varnish to protect your wood from scratches and other damage, but sliding or dragging dinnerware on the wood, or writing directly on wood, is likely to cause noticeable damage.
If your new furniture lets off a strong odor upon arrival, don’t worry. This is a temporary process called off-gassing that occurs after finishing of the wood. Open any doors and drawers in the piece and keep the furniture in a well-ventilated space with air movement to aid the process. It may also help to set a cup of vinegar in or on the furniture, which helps remove chemicals from the air and neutralize the odor.
On arrival, you may notice color variation across a piece. The staining process brings out the natural characteristics of wood. Every piece of wood takes stain differently and these unique qualities are something to be celebrated.
Cherry Wood Darkening
Cherry wood darkens naturally over time with exposure to light. Keep light exposure consistent across your cherry wood furniture. For this reason, we recommend removing objects from the surface of the piece between uses and keeping all table leaves in your table for the first few months in your home.
Learn more about Caring for Furniture
Still want to learn more? Read our blog article: How to Care for Solid Wood Furniture.
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Thanks for the tips on furniture care. If a white ring from persistent exposure to liquid has appeared on our furniture, how can it be removed?
It sounds like you got some moisture trapped beneath the finish. It’s a common problem and a great question. As long as the water’s on the surface of the catalyzed conversion varnish, it can be wiped away with a dry rag. But once it’s soaked through, it’s more of a challenge to remove.
Unfortunately, at DutchCrafters we haven’t tested all these methods ourselves or produced a video on the subject. Until we get to that, we’ll point you to a YouTube video we found that tests a few options for you: https://youtu.be/GZK1jjHsurs. I’ve personally had some success with the method of ironing a cloth rag over the spot, as shown in the video. Best of luck, and please let us know what works for you!