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Oak furniture is ideal for just about every home. Oak furniture adds class, style and practicality, regardless of the design. However, it is important to remember that oak furniture is not invincible to damage or every day wear and tear. With this in mind, treating wood furniture is a relatively simple task that can preserve the appearance and quality of the any solid wood furniture for years.
A starting point in treating wood furniture is quite simply to dust it on a regular basis. Oak furniture, for example, is comprised of living wood material, the grain of which represents the cellular makeup of the original timber. Dust particles are a common cause of wear and tear because, without frequent dusting, they can build up inside the wood graining and cause surface impairment over time.
It is suggested that a lint free cloth should be used for treating wood furniture, which has been very slightly dampened. While water is not usually good for wooden furniture, a small amount of moisture contained in the cloth can better dislodge and stick to dust particles. Use of a feather duster to treat wood furniture is not advisable because at best it will only relocate the dust particles and at worst a broken quill can scratch the wooden furniture. Equally, be careful when using old clothing for dusters as you must watch out for exposed zips or buttons which may also result in scratching the wooden furniture.
A common misconception of treating oak furniture is that it is the wooden furniture itself that determines how to care for the product. Indeed, the most important aspect is the finish, which is usually either soft (wax based) or hard (varnish, lacquer, shellac, etc.). It is important to check with the manufacturer (or a wood furniture expert) what finish has been used so that you can be sure you are treating wood furniture correctly. This is especially important when choosing a wood polish or when damage requires the wooden furniture to be repaired. As a general rule, wood polish should never be alcohol based as this will dry out the natural moisture contained in the wooden furniture. Also, bear in mind that silicone wood cleaners can also cause damage and spray wood polish should not ever be used. Always polish wooden furniture with, not across, the grain.
Other ways of treating wood furniture can boil down to common sense. For instance, when dusting or polishing natural wood furniture, ensure that coffee table top items such as lamps or fruit bowls are lifted carefully and not slid across the wood furniture, which can obviously cause superficial scratching to the natural wood finish. Also, when moving solid wood furniture, do not drag or slide it about the place, just lift and move with care.
If a stain, scratch or ding appears, do not despair. Treating wood furniture is a painless task. Scratches in wooden furniture can be temporarily treated by rubbing them with the inside of a walnut. Alternatively, a wax furniture patching stick can be employed to similar effect. Deeper scratches and dings on solid wood furniture usually require wood filler, sanding and finishing again, while stain damage to solid wood furniture may be polished, removed with an ethanol solution or require bleaching and finishing again. Small dents or superficial scratches are often seen as part of the character as the furniture ages; after all, the most desirable antiques often have chips, dents or even splits.
Treating wood furniture for woodworm is something that you should never have to do if you have bought from a reputable retailer. However, treating wood furniture for this is not difficult and many home wood furniture treatments are available and cheap.
Whatever the problem, treating wood furniture with respect is the best way of keeping it in a high quality condition so it will serve you well for years.
As well as this article we also have articles providing information on Oak furniture, Ash furniture, Birch furniture, Pine Furniture, and Indian Furniture. If you like these articles you may also find our article on the characteristics of hardwood furniture article invaluable.
If you already have a range of hardwood furniture in your home, our articles on treating hardwood furniture, repairing hardwood furniture, joinery and specifically dove tailed joints will help you get the most out of your furniture, and spot quality when shopping in furniture.
Other articles on offer at Oak Furniture Land include our rustic furniture, teak furniture, wood and hardwood furniture, classic traditional furniture and contemporary modern furniture will also help you differentiate between the different styles of hardwood furniture available.
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