Upholstery Tips - Caring For Wood Furniture
Almost all of us have some furniture with the wood exposed in some place. A sofa, a chair, or the dining room table. This exposed wood is often the first area to show signs of wear and tear.
To help alleviate this problem there are A few simple steps that can be taken to prevent and repair minor blemishes in the finish of your exposed wood items.
The first thing to do is to clean the finish so that you start with a fresh surface. To do this you should use a small amount of mineral spirits on a soft cloth. This will dissolve both waxy and oily deposits. If this does not work try plain water and rub hard with a rag. Only as a last resort should you use soap and water. Even if you do have to use soap and water, apply a hard wiping of mineral spirits afterwards to remove any waxy deposits.
Be sure to dry the wood completely, keeping it away from a direct heat source. The time for drying will vary upon your cleaning method; less for mineral spirits, longer for soap and water. Do not allow water to remain on the wood any longer than necessary. The water will damage the wood and its finish.
Once the wood is dry it is ready to be protected. This can be done with either wax or oil.
If you wax your wood, try to use beeswax polish if you can. This provides a hard, dull finish that is very non-slip. The problem with beeswax polish, though, is that it does not provide a high shine. If you wish a highly polished look then use one of the modern, commercial furniture waxes.
To protect with oil, which is better than wax, use mineral oil (teak oil if you own teak). Rub the mineral oil on the surface of the wood with a soft cloth, then wipe the excess away with a dry cloth. Please note that lemon-oil polishes are just mineral oil with a lemon scented additive.
Mineral oil is best for older wood. That is, wood that does not have a very hard shellac or plastic finish to it. These finishes tend to repel oil.
If you have a few small blemishes in the finish that you wish to cover, you can use colored furniture polish. These are commercially made; consult your hardware store about availability and match the color appropriately.
To help prevent cracking in wood, be sure to keep it away from excessive heat. This means keeping it away from heat sources such as radiators, heat vents, stoves, and fireplaces. Excessive heat will cause the wood to dry out and crack
Hopefully these few tips will help you to protect and care for your wood items, making your home or office beautiful, warm, and richly decorated.
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