There is more to maintaining wood furniture than just dusting it once in a while. The rugged beauty associated with wooden furniture often gives many people an erroneous impression that it needs minimal care. However, taking care of furniture in Malaysia requires more than regular cleaning and dusting. All wood reacts to various environmental changes like temperature, moisture and light.
Below are some guidelines to follow to ensure that wooden furniture stays gorgeous throughout its lifetime.
1. Dust the furniture using a dust brush or a soft cloth on a weekly basis. This prevents dirt and dust from sticking to its surface. If dirt is left to settle and accumulate on wooden furniture, cleaning becomes a nightmare and may actually damage the item’s finishing in the process.
2. Always use place mats, coasters or any other protective material when placing anything on wooden furniture. However, note that metal coasters tend to sweat onto the furniture. In addition, some plastic coasters also react with wood finishes.
3. Refrain from putting hot objects directly onto wood furniture without using a sturdy coaster.
4. Strong-colored liquids such as wine or coffee should be handled with care especially around wood. This is because spillage can stain the surface. If spillage occurs, the surface should be blotted using a clean cloth. Do not use a wiping motion!
Cleaning old furniture tends to give it a facelift. One should note the type of finishing used on wooden furniture in order to know the proper cleaning solution to use. If one has no idea what finishing has been used on their furniture, they should have it assessed by a related expert (like a carpenter).
The finishing used on a furniture will determine the right polishing method to use. Polishing protects wood and gives it a shine. Caution should be taken to avoid cheap polishes or products that contain alcohol and silicone. Alcohol dries the wood while silicone leaves a smeared appearance. Wood should be polished at least once a month.
Exposure to the Sun, Humidity and Temperature
Wood exposed to extreme temperature conditions can easily get damaged. Wood furniture should never be placed near air-conditioning outlets or heat. Furthermore, the furniture should not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods because it is susceptible to ultraviolet radiation leading to severe damage. During outdoor events, make sure that all wooden furniture is placed under a shade.
Excessively low and high humidity can cause shrinkage and swelling of wood respectively. This spoils the shape of the furniture. In tropical Singapore areas, it is vital to ensure that one buys their furniture from a trusted source to ensure that it is made from properly treated dry wood (using acetic anhydride) or has a proper finishing (using wax, epoxy paint or paraffin).
Proper finishing enhances the aesthetics of furniture. It also makes it less susceptible to spills, scratches and stains. The type of finish used is dependent on durability and aesthetics. Common finishes include:
• Penetrating resin
All furniture in Singapore should be handled with care and regularly maintained. This enhances its appearance and ensures longevity.