Wood is a natural material and each piece is unique; color, grain and texture like knots can vary. To maintain the look of your wood furniture you should minimize factors that can affect the woods performance.
Wood is a porous material and is affected by changes in humidity. When exposed to humid environments wood will expand, and when exposed to heat or dry environments the wood will shrink and crack.
Wood furniture should never be placed close to heating or cooling sources, such as vents, radiators, fireplaces and air-conditioners, as the changes can cause the wood to crack.
For optimal results use a humidifier to manage the seasonal changes in humidity.
Wood furniture should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Exposure to sunlight will affect the color of wood even if the wood is stained or painted.
Heat can scorch wood and leave discoloration. Hot dishes should not come in direct contact with wood furniture and should be placed on a trivet. Electronics should not sit directly on wood furniture without space to “breath”, the exposure to constant heat can also discolor the surface.
Spills should be cleaned up immediately, and moisture should never be allowed to stand on wood. Use a clean soft dry cloth to remove liquids immediately.
Many decorative objects and dishware are rough or unfinished on the bottoms and can scratch wood. The use of coasters, placemats and protective felt tabs are recommended to avoid rings and prevent surface scratches.
Set up and Maintenance
Furniture should be positioned on a level surface to ensure doors hang correctly and open smoothly. Due to humidity changes drawer movement, may seem a little stiff; rub candle wax on either side of the drawers to ease the movement. Periodically re-tighten nuts, bolts and knobs.
Always lift your furniture when moving it as dragging may cause damage to legs and joints, and can scratch your floor surfaces. Felt tabs are recommended on all feet of wood furniture.
Regular dusting is recommended. Spills and sticky spots should be cleaned up with a clean cloth and water. Wring the soft clean cloth until it is nearly dry before it encounters the surface, and wipe the area. Once the spill if cleaned make sure surface is completely dry.
Regular maintenance and proper care for your wood furniture should not require more intensive cleaning. Stripping is the only way to truly repair discoloration, scratching and water rings; this should only be done by a professional.