Quality wood furnishings are a major investment in every household, and are expected to last through multiple generations. But to keep the natural beauty of wood and protect your investment, it is important that you give your furniture proper care. Wood furniture is typically coated with a plasticized film, or finish, which not only enriches the grain and adds luster to solid wood furniture, but also seals and protects the timber from dirt, dampness, and regular use. There are different types of finishes in the market today, ranging from simple nitrocellulose lacquers to more intricate polyester resins, all of which provide sufficient protection to your furniture. Nevertheless, there are several things that you should do to prolong the life of the finish and protect the furniture itself:
- Use tablecloths, table pads, and runners to protect your dining table during use. Tablecloths and table pads also provide protection from UV light, which often causes the finish to fade and deteriorate, and can even bleach the wood.
- Always use hot pads when placing warm serving dishes on the table top. Very hot items, like baking dish or sauce pans should never be placed on tabletops, even when using a hot pad.
- Use placemats to protect the finish from dishes and silverware, and coasters to protect the furniture from moisture.
- When writing with a ballpoint pen, always remember to place a protective pad on the furniture surface.
- Position your furniture away from direct sunlight to help protect your furniture from the harmful UV radiation. One way to block direct sunlight and prevent UV damage is by tinting the windows.
- Use felt to protect tabletops from scratches when placed at the bottom of vases, lamps and other tabletop items. Additionally, you should avoid sliding items across your wooden surfaces as this can abrade and scratch the finish, or damage the wood below. Instead, lift them up from tabletops when moving them.
- Avoid using solvent-based products, such as polish removers and fingernail polish, around unprotected finished surfaces. In the event of spills, blot them immediately, but do not wipe as this may cause further damage. (scr)