You love natural wood so much you had a table made specifically for your living room, but now comes the hard part: do you actually use the furniture? The answer is “of course!”, but we know it’s hard. Using it means the possibility of damage, and you don’t want anything bad to happen to your hand-crafted baby!
Well, let’s not get too carried away, but we always want wooden furniture to look its best as long as it’s with you. Follow these very simple guidelines to keep your wooden furniture looking great decade after decade!
Wood-Friendly Cleaning Products
When cleaning after dinner, it might seem easiest to transition from counter to table with the same spray. Don’t do it! Many counter cleaners come with harsh chemicals that can damage the finish and leave your furniture weaker.
When cleaning your table, don’t use all-purpose cleaners, but rather one specifically designed to clean wood that doesn’t contain a waxing or protective agent. These waxes can build up over time, and this will require a special cleaning to remove and replace it. They also don’t actually protect the wood from anything other than dust, as they make the surface more slippery.
A simple household solution? Warm water, vinegar, and dish soap. These ingredients will not just disinfect the surface, they’ll also gently clean and remove dust.
Pick the Perfect Finish
You probably already know this, but all wooden furniture needs finishing. It keeps the wood from drying out and brings out the natural beauty of the grain. While we ensure our wood is protected, you might want to know about finishes anyway, because this knowledge can come in handy for making the right choice in the future.
The choices you make depend on what you want the wood to look like, and how often you use the furniture. Oil-based finishes alter the color, making it warmer; a water-based finish will let you preserve the natural, light color of the wood. Depending on how much “sheen” you want, you have gloss, semi-gloss, and satin finishes to work with (FYI, the glossier it is, the more noticeable imperfections and wear will be!). Brush-on finishes work best when you really want to protect the wood, but might leave drips on more ornate pieces; wipe-on finishes can take care of nooks and crannies, but don’t offer the same thick coat as a brush-on.
Always Use a Coaster to Prevent Damage
We know we sound like your mom, but whenever she yelled at your for putting down a drink without something underneath, it was for a reason. Wood is not only very susceptible to water damage, it can also stain when exposed to extreme temperatures. These can leave white stains that are very hard to get out, and may even require a new finish to eradicate completely.
Don’t let water or heat rings ruin your awesome custom-made table – use a coaster! Always have them at the ready for when company comes over. Personally, we love personal things made out of wood, and Project Carve can make you a specially designed coaster that not only accentuates your room, it keeps your wooden furniture looking fabulous.
Don’t let the beauty of the furniture prevent you from enjoying it! Follow the preceding steps and you’re table will be as functional as it is gorgeous.