How to look after your hardwood furniture?
Hardwood is a high-quality material that gets better with time, and with the right amount of care, your furniture has a great chance to last you many years and become your family's heirloom.
Do you know the saying "buy once, buy well"? Those are the words that define how great hardwood furniture can be. Sure, it can be an investment, but in the long run, you won't need to replace the furniture every other year as it can be maintained and restored to its original beauty as often as needed. Which in turn becomes a more sustainable way to go as well.
Whichever piece of furniture you may have your eye on - a large dining table, bedside cabinets or some new barstools - and not sure you are ready to commit to hardwood yet, here are a few simple maintenance tips that could help you decide.
Protect your furniture from direct sunlight and heat.
Wood is a beautiful material with different grain details, rich colours, and texture, but despite it, anything left in direct sunlight will eventually lose its colour. Uneven exposure to sunlight could result in colour differences which are pretty tricky to remove.
If there's no other option and you can't avoid direct sun exposure, you should avoid leaving anything permanently on the surface for the first eight weeks to give a wood chance to initially mature.
Also, consider using window treatments, like sheer blinds and curtains that diffuse the sunlight or add a window film to the glass.
We also recommend using coasters and placemats as intense heat (e.g. hot pans) may burn your wood, and burn marks can be challenging to remove.
Dust it once a week
The key to keeping your hardwood furniture in good condition is to give it a gentle clean consistently. You can do this by wiping it once a week using a soft, dry cloth (preferably microfiber) to remove dust and dirt.
There's no need for expensive chemical cleaning liquids, polishes, sprays, sponges or scourers to keep your furniture clean; those would actually damage your piece. Little goes a long way, and when in doubt, a damp cloth will do the trick!
Accidents do happen, and it is good to remember to always immediately wipe off anything that could stain, like coffee, red wine or vinegar. If left, the surface may need refinishing to remove the stain. Should this be the case, we recommend consulting a specialist or contacting us directly for further advice.
Humidity and moisture
Moist and humid conditions can raise the grain and make the surface feel rough; this happens when the wood absorbs the water, causing the wood grain to swell.
Water should never be left to stand on the surface of your wooden furniture, as the uneven release of moisture could cause wood to warp and split. Wipe dry any large spills immediately.
Carry out sanding and finishing for any deeper scratches or stains
Sometimes furniture gets damaged with scratches and marks, and those can be fixed with light sanding and finish reapplication. Remove scratches and stains by lightly sanding the area in the grain's direction using a sanding sponge or fine sandpaper (180 grit or higher).
Finish using 240 grit sandpaper still in the direction of the grain.
If the damages need more attention, you might need to sand the entire surface to make sure it all looks even at the end. Clean away any dust thoroughly before refinishing and always follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to re-apply the finish.
Re-apply the finish once in a while
All wooden parts may need re-oiling once in a while, depending on the usage.
If you wish to refresh your piece, double-check what finish was used initially (by the manufacturer) on your furniture as you would want to apply the same product.
We use and recommend Osmo Maintenance Oil, which will revive dull or matt surfaces without the need for sanding or renovation work.
Top Tip – whichever product you'll use, always apply it in the direction of the grain!
Whilst it's beneficial to maintain and care for our furniture pieces, sometimes these minor marks make them so much more unique to us, as they remind us of those special moments!
Just because wooden furniture is beautiful doesn't mean it wasn't built to use and last! Follow those simple steps, and your furniture will last. You may even pass it down to a lucky family member you like.
If you are ready to add hardwood furniture to your home decor, take a look at our collection and bespoke projects here for inspiration!