Caring for wood: five tips you need to know

Within every home, there are bound to be wooden structures. Whether these take the form of furniture, supportive elements or decorative embellishments is immaterial, the point is that you’ll want them to look their best and that means caring for them.

Treating wood is something which many people approach with trepidation. After all, there are various tips and theories on the best course of action and personal preference will have a big role to play in the decision you make.

We previously posted a series of helpful pointers on How To Keep Your Furniture Looking New – covering everything from the buying process to cleaning procedures and window tinting. Now, we turn our attention specifically to caring for wood and offer these five fantastic tips.

1. Wax or polish

To give your wood a decent shine and healthy glow it is important that you use the right materials. Furniture polish can be a useful product for the sake of convenience and will work well on flimsier chipboard items but those with solid wood furniture or structures would do best to use wax polish instead.

This will achieve a better look and nourish the wood at the same time and should be applied after a light cleaning with a damp cloth.

2. Know your times

While it is important to keep your wood well maintained on a regular basis you should be aware that polishing or waxing too often will do no favours for your wood or your wallet! Most woods only need to be treated a few times a year but should be wiped down or cleaned with a light solution or damp cloth more regularly.

3. Choose the right finish

A recent post on the Magnet Trade blog discussed the idea of finishing wood – emphasising that with their products, a primed finish is the best option for low maintenance wood care.

This finish means owners only need to clean their wooden windows or doors with a damp cloth and pH neutral cleaning solution. Always look for equivalent options when buying wooden structures to make light work of any maintenance.

4. Household favourites

For larger items like wooden floors, a few old tricks of the trade can come in handy. For a superior shine that will attack dirt and bacteria, mix one part white vinegar with nine parts warm water and wash your floors.

This is a great household tip that is both affordable and effective. Providing you dilute the vinegar enough, there will be no harm to the floor and the smell won’t be overpowering.

5. Control the temperature

The last, and perhaps most important, tip about caring for wood is to control the internal temperature in your home as much as possible. This is because changes in temperature can cause wood to contract and expand, leading to numerous problems.

If you place wooden furniture near radiators or heat sources then you may find cracks appear as the dry air causes the wood to contract and shrink. The same occurs if you leave wooden furniture in direct sunlight (something which can also cause fading to the colour or varnish on the wood’s surface).

To combat these problems, position furniture away from sunlight and heat sources and consider using a humidifier in drier months to keep moisture levels at the optimum amount (around 40-45%).