Why Furniture Takes So Long – Like many traditional building materials, wood has been replaced by plastic, Formica, and other man-made materials. This is partly due to the demand for cheaper furniture, but it has not completely cooled the demand for wooden pieces. According to the latest research, 42 percent of US consumers still consider it very important to have real hardwood furniture in the house. Here are some of the biggest reasons for this demand:
Our product is finished with “Wood-Var”, a modified catalyzed conversion varnish formulated to be virtually “hazardous air pollutant” free. This premium finish is a very environmentally friendly product to apply and use, and is durable and scratch and spill resistant. Although it takes a whole month after application to fully heal. Be careful when putting warm/hot food on the tables. The maximum temperature of objects placed on the surface should not exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Why Furniture Takes So Long
A well-made piece of furniture can last for generations. Wood is stronger than most building materials, and with proper maintenance, it can still look new when it moves from one household to another. Also, as the folks at “Antiques Roadshow” can attest, no Formica table has ever lasted 200 years, let alone been valued at $250,000.
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Most furniture is built to look a certain way, and mass production ensures that no unit is different from the others. On the other hand, one piece of real wood furniture can look different every time it is stripped and finished. In addition, many pieces of wood are handmade, and since no two woods are the same color and look alike, no piece of furniture looks exactly alike.
Your furniture reacts to changes in temperature and humidity by expanding and contracting slightly. You should keep the indoor humidity between 30-45 percent and the temperature between 60-80 degrees 365 days a year. The sun’s ultraviolet light and fluorescent tubes can cause chemical changes to the wood and/or the finish. Avoid placing furniture in a place where the sun shines directly on it. Keep the furniture away from direct heat and cooling sources. Avoid storing furniture in an attic or basement environment. You can buy cheap moisture meters at your local hardware store.
Many building materials contain formaldehyde, which has been considered a cancer-causing agent by many health organizations. Wood does not pose this risk, and because it can last a long time, there is no need to throw away old or damaged pieces that end up in tight landfills. Even if the piece ceases to function as furniture, the wood can be recycled into something else.
Furniture trends go in and out just like fashion. A funky bracelet or Fedora looks good one year and then silly for the rest of its life. A classic black dress or a simple dark suit will last forever. Wooden furniture serves the same purpose. Leather or fabric furniture looks good only in certain conditions. Wood belongs in any environment, regardless of the theme.
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Even if solid wood furniture does not need to be repaired, time takes its toll. Like other household items, furniture can look worn after years of daily use. Also, since wood is a natural element, it is more sensitive to other natural elements than to pieces made of chemicals. Over the years, your classic furniture can start to look like an old craftsman. Fortunately, there are things you can do—and avoid—to extend the life of your furniture.
Regular maintenance can slow down the decay of hardwood furniture – or even prevent it completely. Here are some of the best ways to preserve the beauty of your pieces:
Many things we take for granted also damage solid wood furniture. You can’t always eliminate them from your life, but you can take steps to keep them off your furniture. Protect your investment by keeping it out:
Following all these precautions will not prevent solid wood furniture from getting dirty. Your pieces require regular cleaning – in moderation. Using harsh chemical cleaners or an overly aggressive routine can actually do more harm than good, whether it scratches surfaces or dulls the finish. Proper care requires the right technique and the right product when performing these tasks.
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Regular dusting – every few days – is the best way to keep your furniture shiny and prevent dust from settling on the wood. Soft cloths and feather dusters work best, but they only move the dust off the furniture, not the air. A sheep’s wool towel or slightly damp terry cloth containing lanolin will trap the dust and keep your furniture dust-free for a few more days.
The finish is durable and will withstand most household spills. However, spills must be wiped up quickly to avoid potential problems. A soft cloth moistened with warm soapy water is suitable for most routine cleaning. The use of well-formulated cleaning agents without abrasives can be effective even in demanding cleaning tasks. If you use these products, following up with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth will help greatly. Remember that it is important to refold the cloth often on the clean side, because it gets dirty. A dirty, damp cloth can redeposit the dirt on the surface.
Avoid ammonia-based or silicone-based products. Use polishes sparingly, if at all. Your finish will not benefit from them; and they tend to form a film on the surface that attracts dust and dirt. A good annual cleaning also helps to protect the finish. Remember that warm soapy water and wiping dry is the best cleaning method because your finish has a very hard surface. Using any easy-care cleaning product can cause build-up and we do not recommend this.
Your furniture reacts to changes in temperature and humidity by expanding and contracting slightly. You should keep the indoor humidity between 30-45 percent and the temperature between 60-80 degrees 365 days a year. The sun’s ultraviolet light and fluorescent lights can cause chemical changes to the wood and/or the surface treatment. Avoid placing furniture in a place where the sun shines directly on it. Keep the furniture away from direct heat and cooling sources. Avoid storing furniture in an attic or basement environment. You can buy cheap moisture meters at your local hardware store.
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One of the reasons wooden furniture can last so long is that most damage is easy to repair. Anything made of cheap material breaks down easily, and anything made of fabric loses its luster when the material tears. In contrast, hardwood furniture is sturdy and can withstand most accidents.
The biggest challenge in repairing furniture is what to use. You want something that will get rid of damage without destroying the finish. Wood repair kits are available online and in stores, or you can do it yourself using:
This is why you need to keep coasters nearby. Sweat from a cold glass or heat from a hot drink can penetrate the surface and leave a white ring on the tabletop. Try blowing a hair dryer on the affected area. If that doesn’t work, rub car wax, petroleum jelly or toothpaste on the area and then wipe off with a damp cloth. Whatever medicine you take, use it right away. Moisture can travel far below the surface, and the longer it penetrates, the harder it is to remove.
Ink stains can be difficult to remove from solid wood furniture, but not impossible. To get rid of the ink, mix baking soda and water and pour the mixture over the stain. Wipe it off with a damp cloth. Treated surfaces do better with a mixture of water and dishwashing detergent. Test a small spot before treating the entire stain – you don’t want to remove the stain and damage the finish in the process.
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Chewing gum sticks to everything, and wood is no exception. If it gets stuck on your wooden chair or table, remove as much gum as you can and freeze whatever is left. Make this bag full of ice – some people recommend ice on a paper towel, but that can leak and leave a water trail. Leave the bag on for about 10 minutes and then scrape off the gum with a butter knife or other flat tool. If you end up leaving a scratch while doing this, read on.
Scratching wooden furniture is not difficult – even cleaning with rough materials can leave a mark. If the scratch is small and shallow enough, you only need a little paint. Depending on the depth and finish, you can cover the scratch with a marker, crayon, shoe polish or even coffee grounds. Whatever you choose, two rules apply. First, choose a color that matches the finish. Second, apply the solution in the direction of the scratch.
Remove dust and dry stains with a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush
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