Caring for All Wood Furniture

The look of all wood furniture is warm and inviting. Wood combines beauty with style to make an indelible impression on all who view it. Furniture can be made from solid wood, laminates, softwoods, hardwoods, recycled wood or any combination thereof. Nothing can compare to the look of delicate carved wood ornamentation on a piece of furniture. Simply put, there is nothing like furniture made of all wood materials.

Furniture made of wood is not difficult to care for. Like any other furniture, it should be dusted regularly to keep it clean. An annual wax and polish should be adequate to ensure your furniture lasts a lifetime. That said, what follows are some very useful tips to help you maintain your wood furniture’s beauty and integrity.

Dust carefully and be certain to remove any excessive dust build up. Dust will dull the surface of the wood and over time, may destroy the finish completely. Be sure to read any instructions you receive with your furniture and follow any cleaning suggestions included.

• Avoid using feather dusters; they can scratch the surface of the wood.

• Do use a soft dusting cloth. Chamois and t-shirt fabric are ideal.

• Never use a dirty cloth for dusting.

• Avoid using water to clean wood furniture; water can cause swelling and wood warp.

• Follow the grain of the wood when dusting.

• Avoid sliding lamps etc. across the wood, lift to avoid scratches.

• Avoid using products that contain linseed oil since it can darken and hide the beauty of the wood.

UV light is damaging to wood; it is not only damaging to the finish but it can actually bleach wood under the finish. Generally speaking exposing wood to excessive light is not a good idea. Too much light can cause cracks in the wood; clear finishes can become opaque or yellowed as a result of light exposure. The cellular structure of wood can even degenerate when exposed to extreme amounts of light. Light damage is cumulative and it cannot be revered. Controlling the amount of light your wood is exposed to is critical extending the life of your wood furniture.

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Learn to care for your wood furniture and it will last for a lifetime -- or two! This small table and wooden box should not have been left near a window. (Image via Wikipedia)

• Shade your wood furniture with blinds or drapes during the sunniest periods of the day.

• Install UV filtering tints or films on windows, skylights and sliding glass doors.

• If you leave for extended periods, cover your wood furniture with non-plastic sheets.

• To assure even wood bleaching, move objects (such as lamps) periodically.

Humidity is another important factor to consider when caring for all wood furniture. Experts concur that the best temperature for wood is 70-72 degrees with 40-60% humidity levels. Sudden humidity decreases can cause cracking in wooden furniture

• If relative humidity is less than 30% for an extended time period, wood will crack.

• Harsh chemicals and products that contain alcohol must be kept from your wood furniture’s finish to prevent intense damage.

• Control your home environment with a humidifier or de-humidifier as needed.

Furniture constructed of wood is not hard to care for. By using proper products and techniques you are sure to enjoy your beautiful wood furniture for a lifetime.

If you want to get the best all-wood custom furniture, contact Big Drawers for a free estimate.

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How to Find the Best Solid Wood Furniture

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Solid wood furniture is one of the best investments you can make in your home décor. Solid wood may be a bit more expensive than other materials but most buyers would agree that it is well worth the cost. As a furniture shopper you will be confronted with terminology you may not completely understand; terms like veneer, solid wood product, solid wood, laminate and particle or fiber board are all important in the search for new furniture. Understanding what these various terms mean will help you find the best solid wood furniture available.

Solid wood is exactly what the names implies, solid wood milled from a tree. Solid wood furniture is composed of only natural wood; it contains no processed wo

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Particle board with veneer. (Image via Wikipedia)

od fiber or particle board. It can be hard like walnut or soft like pine. Solid wood has a long lifespan and it can be repaired or refinished th

roughout the years; manufactured wood products cannot be refinished normally. High quality workmanship is reflected in details; look for matching grain and coloration for the most beautiful appearance. Small wood scraps pieced together are indicative of less than quality workmanship.

Be wary of the phrase “solid wood products” as it does not mean solid wood though it does seem to imply it. However, this term actually is describing MDF or particle board.

Particle board and fiber board are engineered wood products. This type of wood product is not susceptible to warping and therefore it is often used as a base for veneers. Veneer woods are made by fusing a thin layer of solid wood to particle board. The result is a material with the attractive look of solid wood at a fraction of the cost. Veneers are not as durable as solid wood.

Veneers comprised of a thin layer of costly, beautiful wood fused to a substrate made from less expensive types of solid wood. This is called “wood veneer over solid wood”; it is an environmentally friendly option since it reduces the demand on our slower growing hardwood forests. When looking at veneered furniture look for tight fusing, matching grain and good color matches. Veneer furniture is judged by its craftsmanship.

Laminates may look like real wood but they are generally composed of a durable surface material applied to a stable substrate material like particle board. Typically, laminates are inexpensive and not prone to surviving long, hard wear.

The most durable, strongest of all wood furniture choices is solid hardwood. When cared for properly solid woods such as maple, cherry and oak can last literally for centuries. One of the best indicators of high quality craftsmanship is the finish. Take your hands and gently feel the piece; look for a smooth surface with no rough areas.

Shoppers searching for solid wood pieces will want to look for the most beautiful wood with a clear finish that allows the wood’s beauty to shine through. Don’t be fooled by terminology, read labels and ask questions to find the best solid wood furniture you can afford.

Big Drawers Furniture offers the best, custom-made wood furniture for your home. Contact us for a free estimate.

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