A well-chosen item of solid wood furniture will look stunning in any room in the home. Solid wood ages wonderfully and, when well cared for, will last for generations - making it a true investment. One of the attractions of solid wood is that it is a natural product, varying in grain and colour. In general terms, lighter woods will darken over time, while darker woods may fade. This is perfectly natural, and youíll find that the ageing process adds even more character to your favourite pieces.
It is certainly well worth investing a little time into looking after your beautiful new furniture following the simple tips outlined below:
Pieces such as plank tables tend to require the most care, as they are likely to be used frequently. First things first, prevention is better than a cure, so itís definitely worth stocking up on cork-backed placemats and coasters to protect your table during meals.
Liquid spills need to be dealt with straight away, so mop up as much as you can with kitchen paper and then gently clean with a damp soft cloth and finish by buffing with a dry one.
A feather-light touch is the key here - donít scrub with anything abrasive or use harsh or silicone-based cleaning products, one we would recommend is Fiddes & Sons wax (available to buy in store and online). Once you have dealt with the spill, you may wish to gently polish the area following the grain of the wood using your favourite wood care products.
Never set down hot dishes or plates directly onto a solid wood table, as the application of direct heat will inevitably result in an unsightly ring or scorch mark. Water marks and oil stains can generally be removed with a weak solution of washing liquid or white vinegar on a soft cloth. However, if the stain does set, thereís absolutely no need to panic.
If the wood has suffered a minor burn or scorch, you may be able to remove the marks by gently rubbing in the direction of the grain using a super-fine wire soap pad. Minor scratches can be disguised with a colour-matched furniture crayon. In cases of more major damage, donít forget that the beauty of solid wood is that it can be sanded and refinished and will look as good as new. If in doubt, seek professional advice.
Less high traffic pieces such as solid wood tv cabinets will normally require less upkeep, but there are lots of things you can do to keep them looking their best. Dust regularly with a soft damp cloth, and polish occasionally with your choice of wood care products, we would recommend a silicone free polish as this does not remove the wax. Similarly, solid wood four poster beds will require little maintenance, but do remember to dust them weekly to keep them looking their best.
Solid wood may react to changes in temperature by expanding and shrinking. This means that when it comes to choosing where to display your new furniture, there are a couple of factors to take into consideration. Avoid locations that are directly in front of or adjacent to a heat source such as a radiator or wood burner, or that are high in humidity such as a bathroom. You should also take care to position your furniture away from direct sunlight, as this could cause the piece to fade unevenly.