Just like most other things in life, furniture can’t escape the hands of time.
While a lot of homeowners see chips and scratches as a sign that it’s time to buy new chairs and tables, one can save a lot of time and money with proper furniture maintenance. What’s more, you may be able to repair some of the damage by yourself, depending on its extent.
In this article, we’ll provide useful tips on how to care for your furniture, and also show you how to breathe new life into damaged furnishings:
How to Dust Wood Furniture
One of the simplest methods of keeping furniture in top shape is by frequent dusting. As it eventually builds up, the dust can damage your furnishings and trigger allergies.
To avoid spreading and scattering the dust into the air (from where it will land back on the furniture), use lightly-dampened, treated microfiber cloths.
How to Clean Wood Furniture
When cleaning wooden furniture like a dining set, avoid using all-purpose sprays unless your particular piece of furniture has a plastic coating. Cleaning wood with water is also not recommended.
However, sometimes you just have to use water and soap, like in the case of sticky spots. For that, you’ll want to dissolve some mild detergent in water, dip a lint-free cloth, squeeze it until it’s almost completely dry, and then wipe the sticky spot.
Here’s a great homemade recipe for cleaning wood: mix equal parts strained lemon juice, gum turpentine, denatured alcohol, and olive oil. Simply apply the mixture with a soft cloth and then buff it with a clean cloth.
How to Protect Wood Furniture
To reduce surface scratches, you can apply wax to your wood furniture. Unlike polishes and sprays, wax is more durable, doesn’t smear, and provides longer-lasting protection.
However, you’ll have to use liquid wax or paste wax made specifically for furniture and apply it correctly. Depending on its manufacturer, a paste wax finish can last as long as two years.
Take a cotton fabric and put some wood furniture wax on it. Then, wrap the wax with the fabric and make a ball. Rub the furniture with this ball, one area at a time, and then remove the excess wax with a soft, clean cotton cloth.
To maintain your waxed chairs and tables, don’t use aerosol or liquid polishes, as they can easily dissolve the wax and leave cloudy stains. Instead, use a lamb-wool duster.
How to Bring Leather Furniture Back to Life
No living room is complete without a beautiful sofa. Unfortunately, leather furniture is bound to collect many stains over the years, especially if you have young children. Believe it or not, one of the best ways to remove these ugly spots is by spraying them with WD-40.
However, make sure to test an inconspicuous area before proceeding. Using WD-40 can lead to further damage in case your leather furniture has a low-quality finish. Spray some WD-40 onto a cloth and carefully apply to the stain.
Once you’re done, remove the WD-40’s greasy traces by blotting them with a towel dipped into a mild washing-up liquid solution.
How to Polish Hardware
Once the hardware of your wood furniture becomes discolored or cloudy or it begins to tarnish, you’ll know it’s time for polishing.
If you can, detach the hardware from your furniture piece and figure out what type of metal it is. The easiest way of doing this is as simple as using a magnet. If the magnet sticks, it’s a brass plate with some metal underneath it. If it doesn’t, it’s solid brass.
Once you’ve cleaned the hardware with brass or metal cleaner, rub it with a towel until it’s completely dry and then reattach it to your wood furniture piece.
How to Repair Scratches, Cracks, and Water Rings
For the scratches in your wood furniture, take a cotton swab and dip it into moist coffee grounds. Apply it to the scratch, wait for 20 minutes, and then simply wipe the area with a dry towel.
When it comes to cracks in the varnish, you can use clear nail polish. Apply it to the damaged area and leave it for about 20 minutes to dry out. Finally, carefully flatten the area with fine sandpaper.
Everybody forgets to use coasters from time to time, and this often results in ugly water rings on the coffee table. Fortunately, the solution to this unsightly issue is surprisingly simple. All you have to do is put some mayonnaise on the stain, leave it there for a couple of hours, and the stain will disappear.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to keep your furniture in top shape and take care of things like stains and scratches by using simple homemade solutions. In case of severe damage, however, you’re better off contacting professionals.
About the author
Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on PlainHelp.