Furniture care gets a little intimidating when it comes to wooden ones. As much as we want our belongings to look brand-new, time, frequent usage, and other factors add to their longevity. Whether you achieved your DIY project of turning an old bed into a pallet bench or you opted to purchase your wooden crafts from a sustainable source, this post will offer tips on how to care for wooden items for them to last longer.
General tips for maintaining wooden furniture:
1. Dust it thoroughly
Dust your wood furniture regularly. When it gleams, it will elevate the look of your entire space. Our trusted professional cleaners from FreshSpace Cleaning suggest removing all dust using a soft, dry cotton towel. Do this at least twice a month. However, the more often you do it, the better, because not only will dusting keep all your furniture pieces spotless, but cleaning is also a great way to burn calories and keep fit!
2. Minimize exposure to sunlight
Avoid exposing your wood furniture to direct sunlight. Sunlight causes spotting in wood, which is where bright and dark spots form over the surface of the furniture. You can reduce the impact of sunlight on your wood by using a tablecloth or some other type of covering.
3. Do not expose your wood furniture to extreme temperature changes
If you want to maintain your wood items in tip-top condition, avoid placing things that are too hot or too cold directly on top of them. This will leave an imprint on the surface, which will affect the texture of the wood grain. If you have to place hot or cold items directly on your furniture, ensure that you only do it for short periods and you always use a coaster.
4. Let your wood furniture mature gracefully
The beauty of wood furniture is that it gets better with age. Allow your wood to do so and you will notice that its character changes over time. Some woods become lighter while others will lighten. This is completely normal, and as long as you take good care of your furniture, it increases its value.
5. Avoid using sharp items directly on the wood
Scrapes and scratches destroy the beauty of your furniture, and they can be very difficult to get rid of. Therefore, you want to avoid using sharp objects on top of the wood. Invest in essential tools when working with pallets and make sure to use them safely to avoid mishaps.
6. Oil and wax your wood items regularly
Oiling and waxing is the key to giving your wood a lustrous finish. Doing so regularly will add a protective layer to the surface of the wood, which makes it tool more vibrant and appealing. Consider oiling and waxing your wood items at least once every 3 months.
7. Use warm water to clean your wood items
To clean your wood furniture pieces, use warm water with a small amount of gentle dish soap. Do not let the water sit or soak into the wood for too long. Only clean it to remove any dust or surface dirt, then wipe away all the remaining wetness with a towel.
How to clean and polish wood
In this next section, we’ll cover a few simple cleaning methods that work without breaking the bank. The best part is that most of these methods are as close to nature as possible, so your wood will respond well to them.
How to clean wood
Clean your wood furniture as soon as you notice visible dust on the surface or if the finish looks uneven or dull. If your furniture is varnished, consider doing this about once a week using plain water and a microfiber cloth. If your furniture is unfinished, for example, if you have a repurposed wooden crate, try to avoid using too much water because the moisture can cause the wood to warp.
Polishing your wood furniture
A simple way to polish your wooden furniture is using a DIY wood polish that you can make using vinegar and olive oil. Vinegar is great for making the wood shine while olive oil adds moisture to the wood, which makes this a great combination. You can also add some lemon to give it a nice, fresh scent.
Here is how to make and use it:
- Mix two parts vinegar with two parts olive oil and one part lemon juice in a bottle
- Mix the solution by shaking the bottle
- To use it, clean the wood surface with a dry cloth first to ensure it is dry and free from dust
- Apply the solution to a microfiber cloth and gently work it into the wood surface
- Go with the grain and wipe off any excess
- Apply a single layer to completely cover the entire surface
- Take a fresh microfiber cloth and wipe down along the grain to remove any excess
- Let it settle and dry
Be careful not to overuse this solution because it can leave a build-up that attracts dust. So, ensure you thoroughly wipe off any excesses before letting it settle.
Polishing your wood furniture with beeswax
Beeswax polish works great with most types of wood. Plus, you can make your own and use it to finish an unvarnished furniture piece.
To make beeswax polish, mix ¼ cup of clear or yellow beeswax with ¾ cup of mineral or olive oil. Note that using yellow beeswax leaves a subtle yellow tint, so avoid it if this is not the result you want.
Here is how to use it:
- Mix your beeswax and olive or mineral oil in a double boiler, heated bath, or bain-marie.
- Once the mixture is fully mixed, pour it into a beat-proof container and let it set for about 3 hours. It should have a balm-like texture
- Clean your furniture surface and ensure it is dry and dust-free
- Apply the beeswax onto the wooden-surface using a clean and dry cloth, using small circular movements.
- Go over the area once more, this time along the wood grain to remove excess polish
- Let it sit for 15 minutes
- Take a different microfiber cloth and go over the entire surface to remove all the residue
- Let the wood cure for 24 hours away from direct sunlight
How to protect your wood furniture
Here are some of the things you can do to keep your wood furniture in the best condition:
- Use felt pads to protect your wood’s surface from scratching if you’re going to place decorative features on it
- Always use placemats and coasters to prevent cold, heat, and watermarks.
- Always wipe off crumbs and spills as soon as you notice them instead of letting them settle on the wood surface
- Do not place your wood furniture near fireplaces or radiators or any other strong heat source.
Wood is great because it lends an old, attractive charm to any room it’s placed in, even in a rustic tiny pallet cabin! Any wooden item will instantly become a focal point in the space, grabbing and holding the viewer’s attention. That’s why you need to treat all your wood pieces with extra care and attention.
To take the best care of your wood items, it is important to understand what works and what doesn’t. We hope that the tips and tricks outlined above have helped you maintain your wood furniture better.