If you’ve just bought a great piece of handmade furniture, congratulations! You’ve invested in a household item that promises to be a family heirloom. But if you want to keep it in attractive shape for your children’s children, you need to take care of it right now. Fortunately, every piece of handcrafted furniture is easily maintained, from basic modernist pieces to more rugged live-edge wood furniture. Here are several ways to maintain high-quality wooden furniture so that it remains beautiful and functional for the next generation.
Treat It Gently
Furniture can give the impression that is stable and unbreakable, but like any object, it’s liable to become damaged when mishandled. When you move your furniture, don’t drag, pull, or drop it. Too much stress can loosen fasteners, screws, nails, and glue, not to mention the possibility of scratching your floors. When it’s time to redecorate or move the furniture around, get help. Lift the furniture up and carry it (with a helper or two for larger pieces) where you need it. Fewer shocks and bumps will ensure it stays together and remains unscratched. Keep it covered with soft and padded fabrics during big moves as well, which will protect the finish.
Trees spend their entire lives outdoors, soaking up the sun’s rays, thriving, and staying alive. It’s funny, then, that sunlight can be such an enemy of wood. When wooden furniture is kept in direct sunlight that beams through a window or glass door, it can lose its luster and finish. Under long-term sunlight, the wood can also begin to warp and bend. Ensure that your wood furniture is out of direct sunlight. If that’s not possible, keep the curtains drawn during the brighter parts of the day.
Keep It Clean
Wooden furniture doesn’t require much in the way of upkeep if you keep it dust-free. Tablecloths and the slipcovers are excellent for preserving a table, chair, or other piece’s finish, though it’s understandable if you don’t want to hide all that beautiful wood. In that case, make dusting the furniture a regular part of your cleaning schedule. Dust can build up and dull or even damage the look of the pieces. Microfiber and lint-free cloths as well as lamb’s wool dusters won’t scratch the wood and will easily pick up any loose dust. Avoid sprays and other cleaners that can leave residue. Tough stains can be worked away with a water and vinegar solution.
Watch the Water!
The last of our ways to maintain high-quality wooden furniture is more of a warning. Water is an enemy of wood in many ways, either through destroying the finish or warping the wood itself. Rings left by drinks can leave stains and cause cracks. Use coasters and trivets for drinks as well as hot plates and dishes. When you do have spills, wipe them up swiftly with a microfiber cloth. Keep wood furniture out of humid environments, but if it can’t be helped, install a dehumidifier in the room. Otherwise, keep your wood furniture high and dry, and it’ll last for ages.