Wooden furniture brings a natural touch to your decoration and can easily be combined with other materials. Not only that, but wood is also a very precious material. Because it is alive, it grows into a very complex chemical and physical structure, that makes every piece unique and full of character. Wood is a classic in furniture. Unfortunately, as an organic material, it is not immune to the marks of time, use, and wear.
But fear not, there are quite a few tips you can follow to remedy that and make your beautiful furniture look fresh again.
How You Should Clean It
In general, you can dust lacquered, veneered, and solid wood surfaces with a dry cloth. When there is more dust on your lacquered furniture, use a soft cloth and cleaning agent slightly diluted in water. To avoid streaks, wipe with a damp cloth without product and dry the surface with a dry one. For veneered and solid wood surfaces, use a slightly damp cloth with a little product, then wipe dry. Grainy surfaces such as stained oak or veneer should always be cleaned in the direction of the wood fiber so as not to deposit dirt in the pores.
Soapy or vinegar water can often do a great job, if you don’t soak the wood and only apply it to your cleaning cloth or sponge. Aggressive or scouring products may attack the wood. Nitro thinners and synthetic resins thus damage the varnish. While it may seem obvious that a scouring pad will degrade the surface, the same can be true of microfiber fabrics, which can also leave traces of friction. Make sure you choose the right product.
In general, all wood can be treated in the same way. Types of wood like walnut, pine, or fir are softer than oak or beech, so be careful so that no marks or scratches appear. Solid wood surfaces are more robust than veneered surfaces. Even if you have not paid attention to solid wood or have not properly maintained the surfaces, there is still the possibility of sanding or using oil. If you are unsure how you would like to proceed, this useful guide on how to take care of solid wood delves further into the details. The most important thing to do and remember is to regularly and carefully maintain your surfaces.
Dealing with stains
Dried stains can be removed with a soft, damp cloth and a little cleaning product. If the stain resists, try several times before using strong cleaners and scouring sponges. Always be careful to clean up spills or sauces right away. If a stain is still present on the veneer, you can try to remove it with rigid foam. Stains on solid wood surfaces can be cleaned with a neutral soap, a sponge and a little water. If the wax from a candle has spilled on the wood, heat it carefully with a hairdryer. As soon as it is liquid, remove it with a cloth, blotting paper or absorbent paper. The rest of the wax can be cleaned with a towel soaked in vinegar water. Finally, you can dry and oil the surface. Occasionally, originally matte surfaces may become shiny due to wear. In this case, you can simply oil your wooded area with mat wood oil. The lacquered surfaces must however be repainted by professionals.
Dealing With Scratches
The first step against scratches, whether for lacquered, veneered or solid wood is to treat the surface with care oil. Very deep scratches in solid wood surfaces can be sanded. Be sure to oil again afterward. For veneered surfaces, there are hard waxes in wood tones that can fill in scratches. On solid wood, the varnish would burst after a while because it reacts differently than veneered or lacquered wood. For bumps, you can try to put a damp cloth and pass an iron, (not too hot) over it. Thanks to the humidity and heat, the wood fibers reposition themselves and roughly correct the bump.
Oiling And Maintaining
The rate of oiling depends on the frequency of use of the furniture. Often you will notice when a surface is very dry or looks brittle. It is advisable to oil every three to four months. Use wood oil found in supermarkets or wax for harder surfaces. There is much you need to be aware of if you want your wooden pieces to last. Even the environment acts on wood to change its properties! Though lacquers and oils contain UV protective agents, dark woods can sometimes discolor due to permanent exposure to the sun. Walnut surfaces are particularly sensitive. These dark woods should not be placed directly in direct sunlight. Other than UVs, heat generally produces dryness which can distort or break the wood. If there is just one thing that you need to remember, it’s that oiling and maintaining will always do good to the wood.