Every year, our family has a ritual. To give a few weeks to maintenance and upkeep of our ancestral home where we live. Mostly, this involves deep cleaning of different rooms, the dusting of antiques and occasionally hiring professionals for whitewash, paint or other maintenance activities.
We love the home we live in. So, we keep on planning how to maintain its glory. An important part of this process is keeping the furniture in good shape. So, we decided that this year we will call our carpenter for furniture repairs and maintenance. The carpenter was happy to take on the job and help us in repairing old furniture and building a new cupboard for the common area.
He is a happy person who loves talking about wood types and how one can extend the life of wooden furniture. As I was at home supervising his work one day, I started a casual conversation on how we can care for wooden furniture, better.
He was very interested in the topic and told me how people nowadays don’t pay heed to maintenance as our family does. He told me most people get their house furnished and think that wood doesn’t need maintenance or any special treatment. But that’s a wrong notion. He gave me a few tips on how to extend the life of furniture and maintain them:
The first thing he told me was that we should always place furniture at a place where it’s not exposed to direct sunlight. Excessive and prolonged exposure to sunlight leads to wood ‘spotting’ which causes a dark and ugly spot on the furniture. He told me how we did well by using a tablecloth on the dining table, which is under sunlight for a large part of the day.
He also told me that as furniture ages, the wood starts to lose its shine. To make sure that the furniture retains its glow, one should polish, oil or wax the furniture at regular intervals. One should create a schedule where he/she polishes the wood every three months. This is a somewhat intricate process. Hence, if you don’t feel you can do justice to it, call your carpenter who will do it for you. The price you pay for getting this done will be peanuts in comparison to the extended life your furniture gets.
When it comes to your couch, you should also pay attention to re-cushioning and re-weaving. The sofa cloth and foam have a specific age, depending on their quality. Beyond this age, the cloth will start tearing off in spaces and the foam will either be too hard or too soft for a comfortable sitting. So get the sofa and other furniture re-cushioned and re-woven, every few years.
One thing we were doing wrong every day was wiping the table and other furniture with a damp cloth. My carpenter told me that it’s harmful to the wood. Instead, one should only use warm water with mild dish soap periodically to clean off the dust. After cleaning, one should always use a dry cloth to clean off any water residue.
We are used to dusting the furniture from time to time. Still, my carpenter told me we were not doing enough. One should dust the furniture on an everyday basis to remove any deposits that accumulate on the surface. The dust particles deposit in the form of a thin layer on the surface over time. The particles move to and fro with wind or other external stimuli that leads to fine lines and scratches on the surface. He told me how to use a clean and soft cloth for dusting every day to maintain the luster for a long time.
My carpenter’s interest in wood care taught me a lot over the course of a single afternoon. And whatever he told me is absolute gold. I follow these wooden furniture maintenance rituals regularly and my furniture has been in better condition, ever since.
Now, I recommend these tips to my friends, who joke that I have turned into a wood specialist. Expert or not, I really enjoy taking care of things and my carpenter’s insights helped me become a better wood furniture owner. If you are also interested in taking care of wooden furniture, use the wooden furniture maintenance tips mentioned above or talk to an expert and verified professional like my carpenter today.