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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Caring for Wood Furniture

Nice Clean Old Wooden Desk.

Caring for Wood Furniture

If you have wood furniture in your home, chances are you paid quite a bit for it, rescued it from a garage sale or inherited it from a family member.

However you found your furniture, knowing how to take care of it is important so it can be enjoyed for years to come, especially if you plan on passing it down through the generations.

Freshen Up Old Wood Furniture

Some of the wood furniture items we’ve picked up at the local flea market or from Aunt Betty might have smelled better in their hey-day, but with a few simple steps, you can make sure that folks enjoy the look of your furniture without being put off by that old musty smell.
  1. There is nothing like sun and fresh air to help remove musty odors. Let it sit out during the day and bring it in at night. I have done this with a few pieces, it can take time but it does help.
  2. You can also add baking soda, charcoal, coffee (dry ground or beans) or kitty litter to drawers and cubbies to help remove musty odors. When using charcoal and kitty litter I have used panty hose. Baking soda can be sprinkled then vacuumed up and I’ve just opened a bag of coffee beans in larger areas. Whichever you choose, you will need to let it sit a day or two and may need to repeat the process.

Here’s a little tip for old wood furniture with drawers that are hard to open: Rub a candle, bar soap or paraffin along the top, bottom and edges of the drawer. Another good fix for sticky old drawers is a self adhesive, self lubricating nylon tape.

Removing a Water Stain from Wood Furniture

The most common stain on wood furniture is from a water stain. All you need is a clean cloth and a warm iron.
  1. Heat the iron to medium high.
  2. Place a lint free cloth over the water mark and run the iron over it for just a few seconds.
  3. Repeat if necessary.
  4. Be sure to properly polish when done.

Use a cloth big enough to cover the irons surface so you avoid touching the hot iron on exposed wood. Do not use any steam in this process.

Polishing Wood Furniture

The biggest mistake people make when polishing their wood furniture is - not knowing the finish.

You should only use oil on wood that has an oil finish. Furniture oil such as Tung and Linseed oil evaporate and get tacky then the remaining residue dries to a hard, protective finish. Wood oil can be applied when necessary, but it is not suitable for all wood finishes.

Oil and wax don't mix! Never add wax to wood with an oil finish and never add oil to wood with a wax finish. A chemical reaction between the wax and oil occurs that will degrade them both. The wax will become an opaque color and attract dirt and dust. If this is something you have inadvertently done and are noticing the change, you will have to completely remove it if you want it to look beautiful again.

For more information on the do’s and don’ts of polishing and cleaning wood furniture, take a look at these articles. With these tips, you should have a beautiful piece of furniture for years to come.

How to Polish and Shine Wood Furniture
Removing Stains and Polishing Wood Furniture

Protecting Your Wood Furniture during a Move

If you’re getting ready to make a move here are a few tips to help keep your wood furniture from getting gauged and/or scratched.
  1. Prior to packing, clean and dust your furniture. This will help avoid any scratches that could happen when you wrap your furniture.
  2. If you have large pieces and if possible, dismantle it prior to wrapping.
  3. Use heavy moving blankets or winter bedspreads and other blankets to place over a table, desk, etc. Bubble wrap can be used to wrap around table legs, drawers, frames and other wood items.
  4. Now that you have your furniture pieces protected, wrap with plastic sheeting.

Carefully load your items in the moving van, regardless of what you are moving, proper placement is so important so take your time and have a plan.
Now you know a few good tips to care for your wood furniture so it will last for many generations.

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