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How to care for veneer and solid wood furniture

Posted on September 19, 2009 by Sridhar Balasubramanian

Gorgeous veneer and solid wood furniture looks impressive in any office, but can lose its luster over time. If you don't care for wood properly, the surface will be marred by ugly warping, scratches and nicks. Your furniture may even split and crack. This guide offers tips on:

Furniture Maintenance: how to clean wood furniture.
Furniture Protection: what are the essential furniture protectors.
Furniture Restoration: how to restore a finish.
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How to clean wood furniture without marring the finish.

When it comes to cleaning your beautiful veneer & solid wood furniture, not just any furniture polish will do. Many popular furniture polishes contain wax and silicone. Avoid these polishes. Wax builds up on your furniture over time, leading to a cloudy and uneven appearance. Meanwhile, silicon leaves behind an ugly white residue that destroys furniture finishes. 

Clean veneer and solid wood furniture 6-12 times a year with a mix of water and mild soaps such as Murphy Oil Soap. Dust your furniture regularly between cleanings (about once a week) with a dry dust cloth or a furniture polish that does not contain wax or silicone, such as Endust. Dust is abrasive. Left untreated it causes tiny scratches that dull the appearance of your furniture.

Recommended Wood Furniture Cleaners

Endust® Professional Cleaning and Dusting Spray

Endust® Professional Cleaning and Dusting Spray

United Facility Supply Wiping Cloths in a Bag™

United Facility Supply Wiping Cloths in a Bag™

Murphy Oil Soap Concentrate, 1 gal. Bottle

Murphy Oil Soap Concentrate, 1 gal. Bottle

DIY Furniture Restoration: how to restore a finish

Complete restoration of badly damaged veneer and solid wood furniture is best left to the professionals, but minor problems can be treated with a few DIY furniture restoration tricks.  

Before attempting any DIY furniture restoration, clean your furniture first with mild soap and water to remove dirt, wax and silicone deposits.

Small Scratches: apply high quality furniture polish to hide small scratches in your wood furniture finish.

Deep Scratches and Gouges: fill and color deep nicks and gouges with furniture repair kits.

Recommended Wood Furniture Restorers

Old English Furnture Polish

OLD ENGLISH® Furniture Scratch Cover

Furniture Touch Up Kit

Master Caster® ReStor-It® Furniture Touch-Up Kit

How to protect your wood furniture furniture from future damage.

Veneer and solid wood furniture has three natural enemies: moisture, sunlight and you. Luckily, there are few furniture protectors you use to minimize damage.

Sun Damage

Sunlight changes the color of wood over time, so don't place your furniture in front of windows or in direct sun. If that is not an option, protect your furniture from direct sunlight with blinds, curtains or UV screens and films. Teak oil provides excellent sun protection to outdoor furniture.  

Moisture Damage

Humidifiers are great furniture protectors against moisture. Too much moisture in the air leads to mold and wood swelling. Too little causes wood to crack and split. A humidifier helps maintain the relative humidity ideal for veneer and solid wood furniture --  around 50 percent.

Recommended Humidifier

Holmes® Cool Mist Console Humidifier with Humidistat

Holmes® Cool Mist Console Humidifier with Humidistat

Daily Abuse

Mats, pad and coasters offer the best protection from scratches and water marks from vases, glasses and cups. However, don't use plastic or rubber furniture protectors on veneer or solid wood furniture. Plastics and rubbers soften over time and damages furniture finishes.

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Document printed / saved on 01/27/2020. Prices subject to change.
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