Caring for wooden furniture

Quality wood furnishings are an investment that one expects to last a lifetime. To maintain its natural beauty and protect the investment, wooden furniture needs the right care. Thus taking care of wood and wooden furniture goes far beyond cleaning and dusting. Wood reacts to environmental changes, such as moisture, temperature and light. The wood care tips below should help to preserve the wooden furniture, wood cabinets, or any other wood products at home.

The Sun

The sun can have extremely detrimental effects on wood and its finish. Ultraviolet rays can destroy a piece of beauty in a matter of a few weeks or months. These rays penetrate the molecular structure of the finish, the color, and the wood itself. In this process, color will change rapidly. Finishes will begin to crack or separate in the form of hairline splits, or begin to look like alligator skin. It is best to keep wood away from direct sunlight in all cases. If this is unavoidable, use blinds, shades, or UV window protection to keep the sun from directly shining on the wood product.

Temperature & Humidity

Both of these factors can also have adverse effects on furniture or cabinets. Wood, whether finished or not, absorbs whatever its surroundings have to offer. Dryness will shrink wood and eventually cause it to split from lack of moisture. Too much moisture, on the other hand, can swell wood and also cause it to crack and or split from stress. Ventilation outlets in the house should not have furniture in front of them or too close by. Heating and air conditioning vents create a temperature variation that is too extreme for furniture or cabinets. The furniture should be placed in an area that will allow the look desired, but yet safe from the sun and extreme temperature variance.


There is a multitude of finish types today, ranging from natural oil all the way to polyurethane. Find out what kind of finish it has when purchasing new or used furniture, or when refinishing the older pieces. This can make the difference between setting a glass of water down and leaving it with no damage, or destroying good furniture. Great care should be taken when using solvents such as alcohol, nail polish remover, perfume/cologne, or any toxic chemical around fine furniture. An investment in fine furniture can turn to a nightmare in a short time if the wrong liquid is spilled, or any other type of spill is not taken care of promptly.

Cleaning & Polishing

Cleaning the wood furniture regularly will help in maintaining the value of fine furnishings. Dusting and cleaning removes the build up of grease, lint and dust that can get ground into or soften the finish. Cleaning the furniture should be done with a soft lint free cotton cloth dampened with water or furniture polish following the pattern of the grain. Cleaning the furniture with a dry rag can cause scratches to the finish. Use a light touch and buff the cleaning cloth frequently. Never use strong detergent and chemical.

Some tips to polish the furniture

  • Spray or aerosol polishes are by far the most convenient way of polishing, but most are silicone based and over time they can be harmful to lacquers and varnish.
  • Oils such as linseed dry on furniture and over time can become hard to remove.
  • Lemon oil is what most professionals recommend for polishing wood that has an oil finish.
  • For most other finishes paste waxes are often the best option. It takes a lot more time and physical effort to apply these waxes properly, but the results are more than worth it. They nourish and protect wood.
  • So now you know how to keep your furniture shining and always new looking!

“New age showrooms like LUXUS offers European quality customized sliding wardrobes and storage furniture, in durableEuropean hardware and boards, with great factory finish. Also LUXUS products doesn’t need maintenance”.So go ahead and renovate your house!

Pratima Gupta, Head of Interior Design at Luxus and guest faculty at NIFT.

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