We love making our furniture using natural timbers. It helps make each piece feel unique depending on the individual timber’s characteristics. The grain, knots, veins, and cracks all tell a story about the life of the tree. Natural timber is also a well performing material, designed to last for many years to come.
In order to maintain our quality finish, it must be cared for. Luckily, that’s not hard to do. Follow our advice to ensure your timber furniture stands the test of time.
Know your finish
Before you roll your sleeves up to give your timber furniture a thorough clean, it’s best to know what your finish is. A lacquered piece for example, will require a different care than a natural oil finish.
Less is more
Generally, when it comes to daily cleaning of your timber furniture the less is more rule applies. Simply dust with a soft cloth to avoid the surface looking dull. For dining tables, after a meal wipe with the timber with a slightly damp but not wet cloth. Use a weak solution of washing detergent and water, avoiding any abrasive or solvent-based cleaning products.
Ensure the water doesn’t remain on the surface by drying it with a cotton rag immediately afterwards.
Protect against spills
No matter how hard you try, spills will inevitably occur whether it’s a glass of red wine knocked over during a rowdy dinner party or your child’s cup of milk. Whatever the type of spill, to avoid lasting damage clean them up immediately with a damp cloth.
How well your timber responds to the spill will greatly depend on the type of timber finish. For example, a natural oil finished won’t be as resilient as a table with a polyurethane coating.
If you’re looking for a deep cleaner that’s gentle on timber, we recommend Guardsman. Also some of the oldest natural timber care products like Bees Wax are still some of the best. Avoid any products that contain silicone as this will soften a lacquered surface with time.
Avoid full sun
Over time, timber furniture exposed to full sun light can discolour and damage the finish so it’s best not to position your pieces in direct full sun.
If that’s not possible, you could put a UV tint on your windows to reduce the amount of light that gets in, or try a UV-absorbent protective oil like this one from Guardsman. Both options may limit any discolouration, but they won’t stop it entirely.
You could also simply embrace the way the timber patinas and ages through daily use. This is one of the beauties about using natural materials in furniture.
Position away from heating and air con
Timber is a natural product and can move and breathe throughout its lifetime. If you place your furniture in front of an air-conditioning or heating, moisture from the timber will be drawn out and may cause the it to shrink.
Instead, try aim to keep the environment at a consistent temperature & humidity to reduce the amount of moisture change and limit and movement.
Leaving items on your timber’s surface
Always use place mats or a table cloth as the unglazed bases on crockery can be slightly abrasive. If your mug is too hot to hold, it’s too hot to put on your timber furniture’s surface. Use a trivet, coaster or thick cloth to protect against any damage.
For decorative vessels or ceramic pots, try using little adhesive felt or vinyl pads to stick underneath. We've used clear self-stick surface savers by Madico with ornaments in our stores. Find them at your local hardware store.
Additionally, if you’re leaving items on the surface for a long period of time, be aware it can leave a permeant shadow on the timber.
Taking care of your timber furniture from the moment it arrives in your home will help to preserve the wood's natural beauty.