Furniture Care

Our Pro Tips & Folk Tricks section

Please be aware that proper care is paramount to avoid damage or further damage. If your furniture finish has been damaged, call a professional for an evaluation.

All Pro Tips & Folks Tricks listed below have been used for generations and some are here below compiled. Be aware, some may or may not work. When in doubt, best choice is to hire a professional to avoid further damage. 

PRO TIPS & FOLKS TRICKS 

Taking proper care of your wood furniture isn’t hard or even much time-consuming, and the reward for your effort will be a home filled with beautiful wood furniture that looks good. If you have any doubt on how to care for your furniture, hire a professional.

 USER BE AWARE 

14  CARE BASICS 

The following are simple steps to protect your furniture during everyday use & extend the looks, finish and the furniture itself.

1• Keep furniture out of direct sunlight.

2• Avoid placing furniture in front of or under windows.

3• Place furniture away from heating and air conditioning vents.

4• Blot up spills immediately.

5• Use coasters, place mats and tablecloths to protect furniture during use.

6• Lift and place items instead of sliding across furniture surfaces.

7• Rotate accessories on your furniture periodically.

8• Avoid prolonged use of plastic and rubber items on your furniture.

9• Dust your furniture regularly and polish every 4-6 months.

10• Use a protective pad when writing with a ballpoint pen on the furniture surface.

11• Felt will protect your tabletops from scratches when used on the bottom of lamps, vases and other accessories.

12• Avoid using household solvent-based products such as fingernail polish and polish removers around an unprotected surface. 

13* Treat wear & tear. If the finish has damage best is to hire a professional for an evaluation.

14* Common sense. When all fails or you are in doubt use common sense. If the finish has been damaged, call a professional for an evaluation and avoid further damage.

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UNDERSTANDING WATER & HUMIDITY AS DANGER ZONES

Water can be very damaging to wood. If possible, never allow your wood furniture to get wet or soaked. Use coasters, pads, cloths or runners to protect against spills and water rings and always keep your wood furniture indoors.  

In case of spills, blot the spill immediately, resist impulse do not wipe as this will spread the spill and may cause further damage. If the surface has not been damaged, clean and polish. If the finish has been damaged, call a professional for an evaluation.

Wood is also very sensitive to changes in relative humidity. As the weather changes, so does the relative humidity in your home and in the moisture content of the wood in your furniture. This means that furniture is constantly expanding and contracting; keeping your furniture in moderate heat and humidity conditions, however, can great reduce the chances of surface distortion. For best results, use a humidifier in winter and an air conditioner in summer and keep your furniture away from direct heat sources.

PRODUCTS

There are a variety of products developed especially for furniture care as well as other commercial products available that may afford similar results. Polishes, waxes, oil treatments, stains and preservatives are formulated to provide your furniture protection from the elements and regular use.

Which products are right for your furniture depend on the amount of wear & tear as well as climatic conditions.

Waxes - Furniture waxes afford the longest lasting protection for your furniture’s finishes and are available as a paste or liquid. Some furniture paste waxes are colored to help disguise minor nicks, scratches and other surface blemishes.

Oils - Lemon oil and other pure oil polishes can leave behind an oily film that actually attracts dust and moisture to your furniture surface. It’s a common myth that you need to “feed” the wood. We do not recommend the use of furniture oils.

Cleansers - Furniture cleaners and dusting aids help to protect the furniture finish and are recommended for regular use. The use of these products helps to avoid scratching the surface when dusting furniture with a microfiber cloth.

Polishes - Most furniture polishes are emulsion base and can be used regularly on most furniture surfaces. It’s a good idea to clean and remove any wax from the surface prior to using a furniture polish to avoid a cloudy appearance.

RATTAN

Rattan or cane furniture and accessories are fashioned from the steam bent poles of the rattan palm, a spiny sub-tropical climbing palm that grows like a vine and can attain lengths of up to 600 feet. From a strand of rattan, the skin is usually peeled off, to be used as rattan weaving material. The remaining "core" of the rattan can be used for various purposes in furniture making. Rattan is lightweight, durable, flexible, and because it grows more quickly and in a in a wider variety of conditions to most other subtropical hardwoods, and is considered to be sustainable. 

Rattan furniture is easy to care for and when maintained properly, will provide years of enjoyment.

• Dust your rattan furniture regularly using a soft cloth

• Vacuum woven panels with a brush attachment

• Do not drag rattan chairs to avoid splitting the rattan reed.

SOLID WOOD & VENEER FURNITURE

Quality wood furnishings are an investment that you expect to last. To maintain its natural beauty and protect your investment, wood furniture needs the right care and cleaning.

Finishes - Wood furniture is coated with a plasticized film that’s referred to as finish. Besides enriching the grain and adding luster to solid wood furniture, the finish seals and protects the wood from moisture, dirt and regular use.

These finishes are diverse and vary from simple nitrocellulose lacquers to more complex polyester resins. All modern wood furniture finishes are long lasting and provide the protection your furniture needs. Wood expands and contracts with the variations in temperature and humidity. Expect each piece of solid wood furniture to react differently depending on the type or species of wood used. Laminated woods and veneers are more stable than solid wood planks.

Cleaning - Cleaning your wood furniture regularly will help maintain the value of your furnishings. Dusting and cleaning removes the build up of grease, lint and dust that can get ground into and damage the finish. Danger Zone Water - Cleaning your furniture should be done with a soft lint free cotton or microfiber cloth damp in water that contains a mild wood cleaning detergent. Use a light touch and rotate your cleaning cloth frequently. Be sure to follow up with a rinse from a damp cloth containing just water, then immediately wipe with a soft dry cloth. Let it dry completely no less than for 48hrs. Pros use mineral spirits. 

Polishing - Follow by using a quality furniture polish to protect the cleaned surface per the manufacturer’s instructions. Even with the best care, wood furniture can sustain injuries. For minor nicks and scratches use a product like Old English Scratch Cover close to your wood grain color. This liquid polish hides abrasions, restoring the wood’s inherent beauty. Most commercial polishes and sprays contain either petroleum distillates or silicone oil to 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. Always be sure to buff well when using products to help avoid this buildup, never use these products with a wax protectant because the combination will.

Re-Oil Dry Wood - If furniture has been stored and becomes overly dry, you may need to re-oil it. Begin by cleaning it with Howard's or Rejuvenate 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 Re-Wax as Needed - Depending on the finish, some furniture may have a wax protective coating. As these pieces age it may be necessary to re-wax the surface for continued protection. Always prepare the surface with fine #0000 steel wool then wipe with a soft cloth to remove any residue. Apply a coat of wax and spread it with a Scotch Brite pad, using light pressure and always following the grain. Don’t allow the wax to set for more than 20 minutes. Remove the excess wax with a clean Scotch Brite pad, and buff with a soft cloth until the surface feels smooth to the touch.

Remove Tough Stains - this topic is folk tricks king- Despite your best efforts, sometimes the inevitable happens and your beautiful wood furniture gets stained. No matter what kind of stain you have, be sure to clean it as quickly as possible — the longer it sits, the harder it will be to remove. Best choice hire a professional. 

The following are a few folk tricks:

• White rings from wet glasses, apply a paste of equal amounts white toothpaste and baking soda. Rub it into the stain until it’s gone. Then, wipe off the furniture and buff with a dry cloth.

• Dark spots from water damage, try gently blotting the stain with a cloth soaked in vinegar.

• Crayon marks, apply mayonnaise over the area. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before rubbing clean with a damp cloth and buffing with a dry cloth.

UPHOLSTERY

Regular maintenance is very important to keeping your upholstery looking great. Seat and back cushions should be flipped and rotated, if possible, at least once a month. Cores with down in them should be fluffed at least once a week to keep the feathers from accumulating in one area. Regular vacuuming helps fabric last longer as well. Understanding upholstery and how to care for your furniture is essential. Before attempting to remove a stain from your furniture, it is helpful to verify what type of fabric the furniture is covered with. Most fabric companies provide standardized cleaning codes and instructions which list the preferred spot cleaning method. We suggest that you first test any cleaning product in an inconspicuous area.

Most residential upholstered pieces have a cleaning code that is usually listed on the law label underneath the cushions or on the bottom of the piece. If you cannot find the code you can always contact your sales person to get the code. This code tells you the best way to clean your particular piece of upholstery. 

Most hospitality-grade fabrics are generally pre-treated. However, over time this protection will wear off. It is also important to deodorize your upholstery on a regular basis. Deodorizers use enzymes to destroy offensive odors. They do this by consuming the matter which causes the smell. This will give your furniture and upholstery a pleasant scent.

UPHOLSTERY CLEANING CODES

DC: Dry Clean Only

S: Clean the fabric sparingly with a dry cleaning solvent that’s water free. Test for color fastness, use sparingly.

W: Clean only with water based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. Do not over wet. Do not use solvents to spot clean. Some fabrics may require brushing to restore appearance. Cushion covers should not be removed and dry cleaned. Avoid over wetting.

WS: Depending on stain, use a water based solution, dry-cleaning solvent or upholstery shampoo.

X: Fabric should be professionally cleaned only. Vacuum or brush lightly to remove any accumulation of dust, dirt and debris. Do not use cleaning solvents or water based products on fabric.

OUTDOOR FURNITURE CARE

Outdoor living and entertaining has always been a favorite during warm weather. The selection of materials and styles for your patio, pool, beach or balconies is as varied as ever. The quality of these furnishings has improved greatly and is reflected in the cost. Following some simple care suggestions will extend the life of your outdoor furniture and provide you with the service you expected.

The methods of care for teak will differ from the care and maintenance needed for aluminum furniture. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintaining the finish at regular intervals. Some outdoor furniture finishes require reapplication at regular intervals. If you are unable to perform the regular maintenance, contact a professional refinisher in your area for assistance.

TEAK

Teak is an extremely durable and weather-resistant hardwood from Southeast Asia. The naturally high oil content makes this wood stable when exposed to a range of climatic conditions. A centuries old favorite of marine builders, teak has become very popular for furniture manufacturing. Teak makes an excellent choice for outdoor furniture.

Unfinished Teak - Untreated or unfinished teak weathers with time to a silver grey color and can be maintained easily with a periodic cleaning to remove accumulated dirt and some stains. Using a warm water and soap or detergent solution, gently scrub the wood in the direction of the grain. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely before use. Using a pressure nozzle on your garden hose will help to loosen most dirt and debris that has accumulated in corners and crevices. Pressure washing teak furniture should be done with extreme care as damage could result from the use of excessive pressure. A pressure of 1200 psi or less is sufficient. Adjust the nozzle to a fan pattern as opposed to a small jet stream and maintain 6-10” between the nozzle and the furniture surface being cleaned. Pre-wetting the furniture will help to soften dirt build up and require less pressure washing. Pressure washing may raise the grain of the wood and may require a light sanding with a medium-fine sandpaper when completely dry. Sand lightly, following the direction of the grain of the wood. Sanding across the grain will leave visible scratches and require additional sanding to remove these scratches.

Oiled Teak - Oiled teak furniture requires regular care to maintain its rich, saturated finish. Following the manufacturers recommendation for the reapplication of the oil every 6 months (or whenever it begins to become faded) will help to preserve the new look of your outdoor teak furniture.

Outdoor Fabrics - Clean with natural soap in lukewarm water. Sponge briskly and rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove dirt. Machine washing outdoor fabric that has not been backed is also acceptable. Air dry. Diluted chlorine bleach will not affect the coloration of the fiber and is acceptable for stain removal. Be aware Chlorine bleach will eventually affect the strength of any fiber, so we suggest a solution of one part bleach to two parts water. Thorough rinsing is essential.

METAL

Metals - Never use cleaners with alcohols or solvents on metals. Only used fine cotton or extra soft cloths. We recommend that tarnished metals be professionally cleaned.

Polished Metals or polished stainless should be wiped with a damp cloth. Do not use commercial or heavy duty polishes or waxes, as they may scratch or damage the finish.

PAINT

Painting a piece of damaged furniture will breathe new life into it and give it several more good years. Painting also allows you to save time by skipping sanding, something you can’t do if you opt to re-stain.

LEATHER

Leather is a material easily maintained and cared for. Proper care such as dusting regularly, using cleaning products designed for leather, and removing spills immediately, will extend the life of your leather furniture.

Aniline Leather - Aniline leather is a type of leather dyed exclusively with soluble dyes without covering the surface with a topcoat of paint or insoluble pigments. The resulting product retains the hide's natural surface with the 'grain', i.e. visible pores, scars etc. of the complete original animal's skin structure.

It should be cleaned with a soft cloth and vacuumed with a soft brush extension. You should also rub the leather down with a cleaning solution to preserve the quality of the leather.

Nubuck Leather - Nubuck Leather is top-grain cattle leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side, or outside, to give a slight nap of short protein fibers, producing a velvet-like surface. It is resistant to wear, and may be white or colored. This is a form of leather that will have more noticeable range marks, and is more likely to stain and fade than Aniline Leather.

Using a product such as Leather Master Nubuck cleaner and protection which will help the leather resist natural body oils, liquid spills, and perspiration and maintain the velvet/suede texture.

STONE

Marble, Stone and stone veneers are beautiful accents to fine furniture and will last a lifetime. Caring for your stone surfaces properly will enhance their beauty and provide years of enjoyment.

• Blot spills immediately.

• Use coasters on table tops under beverages.

• Use a cleanser and polish formulated for stone surfaces.

• Avoid scouring powders which are abrasive and will scratch stone.

• Use the appropriate cleanser for your stone and stain type.

• Refer deep scratches to a professional.

• Do not wax white marble; this can cause yellowing.

• Acidic juices can etch stone surfaces leaving dull spots.

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