Wood has a way of bringing natural beauty to any home, whether it be with wood furniture, with wood foundations and decks, or with wood flooring. However, wood does call for a very specific type of maintenance in order to maintain its durability and original appearance. Here are some tips for how to properly take care of the wood in your home.
Cleaning the Wood in your Home It is never a good idea to let dust build up on your wood furniture. Over time, the dust deposits that form can make up a filmy layer that will end up scratching the furniture. To dust your wood furniture, you can use a feather duster or a soft cloth. If you end up using a soft cloth, dampening it slightly will prevent dust from flying up into the air and landing on your furniture again later.
When wiping down furniture, avoid using an all-purpose cleaner unless your wood furniture has a plastic coating (which is often the case for dining tables and children’s furniture). It is also a good idea to stay away from using water, unless in the case of making any necessary spot treatments (which will require a mixture of a mild soap or detergent and water).
Instead, opt for a wood furniture polish. Because the dust that collects on wood flooring can hold moisture and fungus that will damage it, wood flooring needs to be swept regularly. Some wood floors have been treated with a water-resistant coating; if this is the case for your wood floor, stick to gentle water-based cleaners.
If the wood floors in your home do not have a water-resistant coating, use a cleaner made specifically for lacquer-based coating. No matter what, use a dry mop or towel to absorb excess moisture after you have finished cleaning your floor. How to Treat and Preserve Wood Treating your wood furniture and flooring will not only help preserve its original color, it will also help protect it from imperfections like scratches and dents.
Whether you are working with wood furniture or wood flooring, first make sure that the surface that you want to treat is completely free of dirt and debris by dusting, vacuuming, or sweeping. Next, treat the wood surface by buffing a light layer of linseed or Tung oil into the wood with a clean, dry cloth. The wood will become more solid and durable when it absorbs this oil. This oil should be reapplied every few years.
Applying a stain to the wood will help preserve its natural color and will provide the wood with a smoother surface, making it more difficult for dust and debris to settle. Reapply the stain as needed, depending on how much use the wood surface gets. Minimizing the exposure to heat and moisture that your wood floors or furniture receive will help the wood maintain its appearance and durability.
For wooden outdoor decks and furniture, cover them with a sturdy tarp in cases of extreme heat or rain. Snow should also be shoveled off of wooden outdoor furniture and decks as quickly as possible. This article was contributed by Billy Dunham, a home improvement expert who hopes to help you have an even better home.