5 Expert Tips For Wood Furniture Care

Good-quality, solid-wood furniture is an investment, one that you want to use and enjoy while also keeping it in good shape. To do that, it’s important that you follow a few easy tips for wood care. When you take care of your wood furniture properly, there’s a very good chance it will last long enough to become a family heirloom. The good news is, wood furniture care isn’t hard once you know how to do it. Here are our 5 expert tips for wood furniture care.

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1) Be Careful Where You Put It

The natural woods used in solid wood furniture are sensitive to temperature changes. If you place your furniture in a cold draft, right by a heating vent, or in direct sunlight it can warp the wood. To keep the wood in good shape, locate your furniture away from heating and cooling vents. If there are lots of windows in the room, put up curtains to shade the wood from direct sunlight.

2) Clean It Regularly

Did you know dust can actually scratch wood furniture? If you let the dust particles build up, they can leave little scratches and marks in the wood finish. To keep this from happening, all you have to do is wipe down the furniture with a soft cloth about once a week. You can use a damp or dry cloth. Just make sure that you wipe in the direction of the wood grain and that you dry it off afterward if you use a damp cloth.

3) Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals

Most of the time when you need to clean your wood furniture, a soft dry cloth will do the trick. You can also use a cloth damp with clean water or a mild solution of dish soap. You’ll want to avoid most wood-cleaners, especial if they’re silicone- or ammonia-based. Instead, invest in a high-quality wax-based furniture polish. We recommend using Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner about once a month.

4) Protect The Surface

You don’t have to keep the table’s surface covered all the time. After all – one reason you probably bought this furniture is that you like the look of the wood. But you should use coasters, hot pads, trivets, mats, etc. to protect the wood’s surface from hot pots and pans or cold drinks. You don’t want the wood damaged by temperature changes, moisture, or with scratches.

5) Manage Humidity

Much like temperature changes can warp wood, so can extremes in humidity. A humidity level of 40 to 45 percent is ideal. Running a humidifier when the air is dry will keep the wood from drying out and shrinking. In some climates, you might need to run a dehumidifier or air conditioner during the warm, humid months to keep the wood from swelling and warping.

If you’re looking to purchase a high-quality wood furniture piece, Rustic+Modern is the place to go. We’ll work with you to create the perfect custom piece that’s the right size, wood, and style for what you want. Contact us today to learn more or get started with an order.

How To Remove Marks From Wood Tables

Wood furniture is remarkably sturdy and long-lasting. With proper care, many pieces can become treasured heirlooms. When you’re using your wood furniture every day though, scratches, dings, and other marks are almost inevitable. This is especially likely when you’re entertaining, such as during the holiday season.

You can protect your wood by using tablecloths, placemats, table runners, potholders, and coasters. If marks do show up on your table, try these tips to remove the marks or at least make them less noticeable.

How To Remove scratches From Wood Tables

Water Rings

If hot cups or sweating glasses left water marks on your wood, you can buff them out using any of these common household products:

  • Petroleum jelly – apply jelly to the mark and let it sit overnight. Wipe off in the morning.
  • Non-gel toothpaste – rub toothpaste onto the mark with a soft cloth, following the wood grain. Wipe off with a damp cloth, then let dry.
  • Baking Soda – mix 2 tablespoons soda with 1 teaspoon water to make a paste. Rub over the water mark using a circular motion.

Light colored stains come off the easiest. Darker stains might require several treatments. The petroleum jelly is gentlest, so start with that. If the stain doesn’t come out, try toothpaste next and then baking soda. After you get the stain out, polish your table with a wax polish. We recommend using Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner.

Light Dings

Shallow scratches, nicks, and dings are usually surface issues. They affect the finish rather than getting deep enough to damage the wood. If you look at the scratch on an angle and don’t see discoloration, then the scratch is only on the surface.

Here at Rustic + Modern, we finish all of our furniture with satin polyurethane. This finish offers durable protection against everyday use. If scratches develop in this type of finish, start by buffing a paste wax furniture polish into the scratch. This is often enough to hide scratches.

If the wax doesn’t hide your scratch and you want to try refinishing that spot, sand over the scratch with fine steel wool. Sand with the grain using light pressure until the scratch is no longer visible. Wipe the sanded surface with a clean, damp cloth and let it dry completely. Apply a thin coat of satin polyurethane to the scratch and let dry for 24 hours. Repeat polyurethane coats until the finish over the scratch is level with the rest of the table.

Deep Scratches

If the marks on your wood table are from damage that gets through the finish to the wood itself, you have a few options. Most involve filling in or coloring the scratches to make them less noticeable. You can use a commercially available scratch filler or stain pen, or try one of these DIY options:

  • Rub the nut meat or a walnut, almond, pecan, or Brazil nut into the scratch. This works best for light to medium colored woods.
  • Dab coffee grounds or a damp tea bag over the scratch. Wipe excess away with a paper towel, then repeat until colors match. This works best for medium to dark colored woods.
  • Use a felt-tip marker the same shade as the wood to hide the scratch. Polish with a wax-based furniture polish.

You can also try touching-up the finish over deep scratches as described for light scratches. Remember also that wood furniture can be completely refinished if the surface becomes too marred, unlike furniture made with veneers or engineered woods. That’s part of the beauty of investing in solid wood – even many years of wear-and-tear isn’t going to make it unusable.

If you’d like to order a new, solid wood table, get in touch with us at Rustic + Modern. All our tables are hand-crafted from high-quality solid wood. You’ll get a table made to your exact specifications – the kind of furniture you’ll want to keep around for many years.

5 Essential Tips for Solid Wood Care

Solid wood furniture has a reputation for being sturdy and long lasting. With proper care, it will live up to those claims and many solid wood furniture pieces become family heirlooms.

Caring for wood furniture is fairly simple. You just need to keep the surface clean, polish occasionally, and protect the wood from temperature and humidity extremes. Here are our five essential tips for taking care of solid wood furniture:

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1) Dust Often

Dusting at least once a week prevents dust buildup that can damage the furniture finish. A little dust might seem harmless, but it can actually scratch the finish if left to build up over time.

Use a soft, lint-free cloth to dust your furniture. Microfiber or soft cotton both work well. Dampen the cloth slightly with warm water and a mild dish soap. Remember to follow the grain pattern of the wood when you’re dusting.

2) Cleaning and Polishing

Never use harsh chemicals, like bleach, to clean your wood. Instead, you’ll want to invest in a good quality wood furniture polish. Avoid products that contain silicone and go for wax-based polishes.

We recommend using Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner for solid wood furniture from Rustic + Modern. It’s a wonderful product that you can use as needed to polish and help protect solid wood surfaces. Aim for polishing at least once a month, depending on how much you use the furniture.

3) Beat The Heat

Natural wood can warp or crack in response to excessive temperatures. Don’t position your wood furniture right next to a radiator or heat register. Just putting a little distance between heat sources and your furniture makes a huge difference in maintaining solid wood furniture.

Also, avoid placing furniture in direct sunlight. The heat of direct sunlight can damage finishes and cause the wood to dry out and shrink. Hanging curtains or blinds in the windows is a quick-fix for this problem.

4) Watch Humidity

Extreme changes in humidity can also damage the wood. Run a humidifier during dryer months of the year to keep the wood from drying out and shrinking. A 40 to 45 percent humidity level is ideal.

Depending on the climate, you might also need to run a dehumidifier during some months to maintain the right humidity. Alternately, you can beat excessive summer humidity (and heat) by running an air conditioner.

5) Protect The Surface

Avoid placing hot, wet, or sharp objects directly on the wood surface. You can cover the bottoms of vases, lamps and other decorating items you want to keep on your table or desk with felt. For other items you want to place on the wood surface, table runners, placemats, doilies, and coasters are your friends.

Think you’d like to add a new solid wood furniture piece to your home? Rustic + Modern offers a variety of furniture styles you can customize to your exact specifications. Contact us today to learn more or set up an appointment to see our designs in person.