How to Care for your Solid Wood Furniture
What Makes wood furniture So Unique?
Like a lot of traditional building materials, wood has been replaced by plastic, Formica and other man-made materials. This is due, in part, to the demand for cheaper furniture, but it hasn’t completely cooled the demand for wooden pieces. According to the latest research, 42 percent of US consumers still think it’s very impoRTAnt to have real hardwood furniture in the house. Here are some of the biggest reasons for this demand:
Our products are finished with “Wood-Var” which is a modified catalyzed conversion varnish formulated to be virtually “Hazardous Air Pollutant” free. This premium grade finish is a very environmentally friendly product to apply and use, and is tough and resistant to scratches and spills; although it does take a full month after applied to completely cure. Please be careful when placing warm/hot dishes on the tables. The maximum temperature of things placed on finish should not exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
A well-made piece of furniture can last for generations. Wood is stronger than most building materials, and with the proper maintenance it can continue to look like new as it’s passed on from one household to another. Also, as the folks at “antiques Roadshow” can attest, no Formica table has ever lasted 200 years, let alone been appraised at $250,000.
Most furniture is built to look a certain way, and mass production guarantees no unit looks different from the rest. On the other hand, one piece of wooden furniture can look different every time it’s stripped and refinished. Furthermore, many wood pieces are handmade, and since no two trees come with the same tones and markings, no two pieces of furniture will look exactly the same.
Control the Environment
Your furniture responds to changes in temperature and humidity by expanding and contracting slightly. You must keep the indoor humidity in the 30 to 45 percent range and the temperature in the 60 to 80 degree range 365 days a year. Ultraviolet light from the sun and florescent fixtures can cause chemical changes in the wood and/or finish. Avoid placing furniture in an area where the sun will shine directly on it. Keep furniture away from direct sources of heating and cooling. Avoid storing furniture in an attic or cellar-type environment. Inexpensive humidity gauges can be purchased at your local hardware store.
Many building materials contain formaldehyde, which has been deemed a carcinogen by numerous health organizations. Wood does not pose this risk, and because it can last a long time there’s less need to throw out old or damaged pieces, which end up in crowded landfills. Even if a piece stops working as furniture, the wood can be recycled into something else.
Furniture works the same way as fashion. A funky bracelet or a fedora looks good for one year and then silly for the rest of its existence. A black dress or simple dark suit lasts forever. Wood furniture serves the same purpose. Leather or fabric furniture looks good only in certain settings. Wood belongs in any setting, no matter the theme.
Even if you don’t need to fix Solid wood furniture, time will take its toll. Like other household items, furniture can look worn after years of everyday use. Also, because wood is a natural element, it’s more vulnerable to other natural elements than pieces made from chemicals. Over the years, your classic furniture can start to look like an old hand-me-down. Luckily, there are things you can do – and avoid – to lengthen the life of your furniture.
What to Do
Regular maintenance can slow the deterioration of hardwood furniture – or even prevent it altogether. Here are some of the best ways to preserve the beauty of your pieces:
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