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:
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.