To retain the rich warm look of your wooden furniture, taking care of it is essential. The care varies with the kind of furniture - from oiled wood to varnished wood, to old furniture finished with wax or French polish, to carved pieces and furniture with clean lines. The finish and the shape of the piece will dictate the appropriate method of cleaning and polishing.
Dust carved wood. Use a decorator's dusting brush or a soft material with a dab of tung oil to get rid of dust around carved areas.
Oil tropical hardwoods. Use ‘teak oils' or boiled linseed oil (cheaper), douse a little on a cotton ball, wrap with a rag and rub with a thin layer going into the furniture (left on the surface it will form a hard sticky residue).
Wipe Varnished Wood. Most varnished woods shine after a wipe with a damp cloth as long s you dry it immediately. When the shine dulls with age, the occasional polish helps restore the glow. Where the varnish is flawed, it will show stains due to seepage of liquids, then replacing the varnish is the only option.
Care for Polished Wood. Natural wood and stained wood should be polished using beeswax that is nearest in shade to the wood. Oiling light woods like pine, birch, etc will not only give additional protection, but also accentuate the grain of the wood.
Steps to wood polishing.
- Daub wax thinly on the wood with a neat cotton rag in light, circular motion (against the wood grain). The wax polish builds a protective seal keeping in the moisture and giving an elevated glossy shine
- Allow the wax to infuse the wood by giving setting time between 10 to 60 minutes
- Buff the wood with a neat, soft buffing cloth
- Don't put anything damp or hot on the wooden surface
- Don't forget humidifiers in every room with antique furniture
- Don't write or score with any pointed tips (nibs/ballpoints etc) without any padding in between
- Don't leave any extra oil on the furniture as it will only attract dust
Using sprays or oils to dust and clean furniture, while making the wood look good, does not afford protection nor fortify the wood in any manner. Polishing with wax protects your wooden furniture and renews its life and look and enhances your home's style. So remember - dust, wax and buff, buff and buff!!