How to care for your oak furniture
If you choose to buy new furniture for your home the best option is buying a solid wood, Oak is by far the best value and plenty of styles available, alternatively ash is a solid good option. what ever you choose you can be sure that hardwood furniture will enhance your home for many years if maintained correctly, this doesn't need to be hard work and a little effort at the start of your ownership with give you benefits in the long term.
Positioning your furniture
Firstly do not lift furniture without another pair of hands, not only will you hurt yourself but also your furniture.
When positioning your furniture it is best to leave a gap of approximately 25mm (1") between the wall and the back of your piece of furniture, this will help with air flow and keep your furniture at a more stable temperature and prolong it's life.
It is important not to position in front of a radiator as the constant change in heat will dry out your furniture and could result in joints of the furniture opening up, this also applies with air conditioning units. As with any natural product an amount of movement will happen with your furniture, this is perfectly fine but excessive movement will need investigating as the furniture may not be placed in the best position.
When placing your furniture on a wooden solid floor be sure to place protective felt under the feet, this will not only protect your floor but the base of the foot of your piece of furniture.
Oak furniture will change colour during its lifetime with the effects of sunlight, any lamps or ornaments placed on the piece of furniture will stop that part of the furniture from this colouring process, be sure to periodically re-arrange any items to give an even colour.
Maintaining your furniture
From the first day you receive your piece of furniture it will require periodic up keep to make sure it looks its best for years to come, don't panic it's only a few minutes every 3 months or so and the good news is this becomes less frequent with time.
Be sure firstly to follow the manufacturers documentation with regards to looking after your furniture as this will form part of the terms of your furniture's warranty.
maintaining your furniture will be dependant on the type of finish that has been supplied by the manufacturer
* Lacquered finish - once a week with a damp cloth without any detergents and be sure to dry with a soft lint free cloth, this type of finish is the lowest maintenance option.
* Wax Finishes - Every 6 months apply a high quality furniture wax not polish Mr.Sheen is not furniture wax! a wax finished piece of furniture will age individually and two piece's of furniture from the same supplier may age differently this adds to the overall character of the wood
* Oil finish - Every 3 months for the first year apply a high quality boiled linseed oil or Danish oil which will help the Oak be more water resistant but will not make it waterproof, as always mop up any water spills immediately.
After the first year the frequency in which you apply the oil to your furniture can reduce to every 6 months, applying more frequently will not have a detrimental effect. Follow the manufacturers instructions for application.
If your furniture needs a thorough clean Murphy's Oil Soap is a good choice for removing years of gunk and wax, just remember to read the instructions and refinish afterwards.
To maintain drawer runners is as simple as rubbing a candle on the runners to keep them operating smoothly.
When applying any finishes to your piece of furniture be sure to apply a tester to an inconspicuous area first to check compatibility with previous products that may have been used on your furniture.
Once you have applied your chosen finish, let the finish thoroughly dry before placing table cloths etc on the newly finished surface as staining may occur to the fabric.
Always use felt backed or natural wood coasters for placing drinks,plant pots etc on the top of your piece of furniture.
Most of all enjoy your furniture
How to care for your oak furniture
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9 August 2009
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