Caring for Wood
Caring for and preserving your fine wood furniture is not really as difficult as it first may seem.
Over the coming months I will be sharing my hints and tips for caring for your wood furniture, such as repair techniques, and I’ll also be giving my suggestions on how to deal with things like cracks in wood, scratches, burn marks, paint marks, and wax.
To guarantee many years of beautiful looking wood furniture it’s best to keep any pieces out of direct sunlight and well away from heat sources as these can warp wood, or even worse it could dry the wood out, drain the colour, and leave it looking pretty washed out and ugly.
To get us started, here are some of my “Top Wood Care Tips” that should help you to care for, and clean your wood furniture to keep it looking as good as new for as long as possible.
Everyday care for your wood furniture
Before you decide how to clean your piece of furniture, you need to determine what type of finish it has on it and use the appropriate cleaning or polishing products.
You should use a lint-free cloth to polish your furniture on a regular basis. Use just a little furniture polish on the cloth and rub the surface to get a beautiful shine.
When choosing a furniture polish, use the same type for each cleaning, either oil- or wax-based, to avoid those pesky polish smudges. Wipe in the direction of the grain of the wood whenever possible.
Special cleaning tip
When it comes time to remove built-up wax, use either mineral spirits or a synthetic turpentine with a soft, lint-free cloth. Clean the entire piece with the product, not just the area that’s soiled.
Removing watermarks on wood
One of the most common problems that I often have to deal with is removing the white marks left on wooden furniture by water or steam, such as the ring left by a wet tea cup or coffee mug, or from an over-filled flower vase. Here’s my tips on how you could remove these stains.
Here’s how to remove white watermarks from wood
- Spread about 2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise on a paper towel
- Place the paper towel on the white water mark. Press lightly
- Leave the mayonnaise on the stain about 15 minutes
- Lift the paper towel and check the stain. If the mark remains, rub more mayo into it again and check it later
- The stain should be gone, but reapply if necessary
- Consult a furniture or antiques expert in your area if more elaborate repairs are needed
- See my TIPS below for important information
My Tips for removing white watermarks from wood
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the particular finish of your furniture
- The sooner a white mark is treated, the better
- If in doubt, test the procedure in an inconspicuous area first
- If you don’t have mayonnaise, you can substitute oil. Leave the mayo or oil on overnight for older stains
- Call a refinishing specialist for advice if stain is stubborn or old. Get professional advice from an antiques expert when dealing with valuable furnishings