Quality wood furniture can last a lifetime and is often a treasured heirloom, passed down through multiple generations. Still, even the highest quality wood is susceptible to scratches and abrasions if not properly cared for. Here are a few tips to keep wood looking its best for many years to come.
Avoid Environmental Damage
Sunlight, heat and other environmental factors can wreak havoc on your fine wood. Don’t place valuable furniture in front of uncovered windows, vents or fireplaces, as the light and heat can damage and fade the wood.
Protect Your Wood
Most commercial polishes and sprays contain either petroleum distillates or silicone oil for a fresh and shiny finish, and to offer some protection for your wood. Make sure not to use too much product, because it can cause buildup that combines with dirt to create a dull, sticky film.
Re-Oil Dry Wood
Begin by cleaning it with Murphy’s Oil Soap or another appropriate cleaner, and then prepare the surface with #0000 steel wool, always working with the grain. Liberally apply your furniture oil and let it soak into the wood for about 15 minutes. It you are going to apply a protective coating, let your furniture set for at least 24 hours before proceeding.
Keep Wood Smelling Fresh
Sometimes older pieces will develop an unpleasant odor, especially if they’ve been stored. You can sprinkle the surface with baking soda to freshen it up, and place a pan of charcoal inside drawers to absorb smells that emanate from inside. You can even leave the piece outside in a shaded area on a warm, dry day to give relief from a malodorous stench and make your furniture good as new.