How to Properly Care for Your Wood Furniture
There is something timeless about wooden furniture, and you are sure to be pleased with it for many years to come. Made from all sorts of woods including oak, mahogany, cherry, maple, pine and many more, there is something out there for everyone. Wood furniture does not have to be very expensive either – some pieces can even be found used and left almost completely untouched by children! It has a sort of magical quality, and many people prefer it to glass or plastic.
Wood furniture is timeless, because it never goes out of style. Whether it’s an armoire at the family table or a rocking chair in the living room, wood furniture makers manage to blend timeless beauty with modern or classical a country or western style. Although there are many materials used when making furniture, one of the most important aspects of wood furniture is sanding and polishing – a great piece of furniture really must have good sanding and finishing. Without these elements, a piece of wood furniture becomes fragile, and you can damage a beautiful piece of wood by making sure that it doesn’t get the right treatment.
A major part of furniture making involves figuring out how to treat the wood. When making cabinets or tables, for instance, the wood is stained with mineral spirits or a similar product to prevent it from drying out too much while storing things in them. For most other pieces, however, a simple water-based wood preservative like chlorine bleach is enough to keep them safe. If your piece of furniture has a natural brown or gold tint to it, that is a sign that you should protect it with an oil based preservative. If your piece of furniture is made from softwoods like cherry or maple, however, that tint can easily fade to a gray color over time. You may want to choose a clear wood preservative if you find that your wood is naturally dark, since a darker color makes the wood more susceptible to damage.
When you buy wood veneer furniture pieces, the manufacturer will often apply a clear wax to the piece before shipping it. This protects the wood’s natural grain, as well as the finish you are applying to the piece. If you choose a wood veneer that has already been stained or finished, you should only need to apply an occasional dusting of this protective wax. If the wood veneer you choose is unfinished, you will have to take this task more seriously. Make sure you sand each piece very well, especially on the edges, to ensure that the wood veneer furniture pieces you purchase are as smooth and natural looking as possible.
If you want high-quality veneers on solid wood furniture pieces, you need to be careful about which cleaner you use on the wood. Many cleaners contain a chemical called lacquer. Although lacquer does leave your furniture with an attractive shine, it can cause damage to the wood underneath. Instead, opt for a wood cleaner that contains borax or white vinegar. Both of these substances are naturally biodegradable and they leave behind no stains on the wood, even after they have been applied.
If you prefer to purchase a wood piece made out of white oak, you should always be sure that the wood has been properly cared for. Most white oak furniture pieces are pre-finished, so you do not need to do anything when you bring the piece home. However, if there are uneven dark rings around the wood grain, or if the wood appears to be damaged from being exposed to moisture too long, you should consider applying a stain. Typically, wood stains are applied using a combination of mineral spirits and water. You may also want to consider using a wood sealant to help keep your newly stained piece looking its best.