When you invest in something special, proper care of that item should be a priority. Why spend the time and money to get a beautiful addition to your home only to see it degrade over time from a lack of maintenance.
“If you take care for your custom furniture pieces, they can last you a lifetime,” says Fine Oak Things owner Jon Nameth.
Aside from obvious things to avoid like letting your kids incessantly hammer on a pristine table, furniture care can be simple and surprisingly infrequent. All furniture purchased from Fine Oak Things is protected with a post-catalyzed lacquer, considered one of the better options available to keep wood furniture in top shape. It can be applied in various sheens to meet the tastes of any customer.
That added layer of protection means that once you do have your piece home, it won’t require a great deal of care.
Keep it simple
Nameth is adamant that one of the best practices you can use for your custom wood furniture is cleaning with a damp cloth. Not a soaking wet cloth – just damp. Most messes can be cleaned without soap. If something does get stuck where a wet cloth won’t do the trick, add a few drops of vinegar to some dish soap (makes it less sudsy) and gently scrub until it comes free. When using soap, you should also use a rinse cloth and then a towel to absorb the excess. Water spills on the table are perfectly fine so long as they are not allowed to sit for hours and hours. Similar to hardwood floors, water spills won’t cause damage, but if it sits for too long it could.
Avoid the polish
Nameth says that one of the biggest misconceptions is that furniture polish and chemical cleaners keep your pieces looking good. It’s just not true. Those sticky, gummy products can do more harm than good. The damp cloth works fine. With repeated use, a film can develop on the furniture and polishes can also cause issues should you choose to refinish your furniture in the future. Murphy’s Oil soap is one of those considered acceptable by furniture makers. But it’s not really needed. If you do want to restore the shine, a few drops of lemon oil on a damp cloth will help to do that.
Beat the heat
“Heat is absolutely one of the worst things for your furniture,” Nameth says. For example, placing hot bowls of food on your dining room table can result in the clearcoat softening, and trap steam when it reseals, ultimately leading to unattractive cloudy spots on your surfaces. The fix is easy: placemats, table runners, coasters, and hot plates to provide a layer between the serving bowl and the surface. Placing something hot directly on the table won’t always result in the cloudy marks, but in general, don’t put anything hot on beautiful wood.
Nameth says that it’s always a good idea to use felt pads underneath the legs of any custom furniture piece. They give a layer of protection to the floors. So have one of those kits on hand on delivery, with various sizes and shapes of felt pads.
The fact is your custom furniture piece will endure some damage – the odd nick or scratch here, a little dent there. Anyone with children or pets knows that likelihood only increases. The good news is that minor dings and scratches can be addressed with touch-up markers. Nameth has access to all sorts of great products to cover up those small flaws. “We can find a colour to match any piece,” he says.