How to Care for Wood Furniture Like a Master Craftsperson

Secrets to Timeless Beauty

Having spent over 25 years working with wood furniture, we know that every piece is special and has its own story. With minimal maintenance, you can make sure your beloved furniture stands the test of time. In this article, we will share several ways to maintain, protect, and treat your wood furniture. Here’s what you need to know about how to care for wood furniture like a pro.

Respect the Wood

Every skilled woodworker knows that understanding the essence of wood is crucial. Embrace the fact that wood is a living and breathing material that responds to its surroundings. Maintain a stable indoor environment with consistent humidity levels (around 40-45%), and keep your furniture away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. This helps prevent warping, cracking, and fading, ensuring the wood retains its splendor for generations. If you live in a dry climate like us in Tempe, Arizona, where getting 40-45% humidity is practically impossible most of the year, our next tips are even more important for you.

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

To keep your furniture shining, regular cleaning is essential. Give your furniture a gently dusting with a soft, lint-free cloth, or a feather duster, at least once a week. Stay away from harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning products, as they can damage the wood’s finish and remove its natural oils. If you need to use soap, we suggest opting for something mild and natural, such as Murphy’s Oil Soap.

Nourish and Protect

Wood, like our skin, benefits from a little TLC. Periodically apply high-quality wood polish or oil to rejuvenate the wood furniture’s luster and maintain its moisture balance. This nourishment also acts as a protective barrier against spills and minor scratches, safeguarding the wood from potential harm. Our favorite furniture polish is Mohawk OZ Cream Polish.

Wood dining room tables are prone to spills. Wipe away moisture with a soft absorbent cloth and use coasters or placemats under dishes.
Wood dining room tables are prone to spills and heat damage Wipe away moisture with a soft absorbent cloth and use coasters or placemats under dishes

Moisture Control

Spills are bound to happen, but quick action can prevent lasting harm. Wipe off any liquid spills immediately using a soft, absorbent cloth. For tough stains, create a mild soapy solution using gentle soap and warm water, and carefully wipe the affected area. Always follow up with a dry cloth to remove extra moisture. And remember to use coasters to shield your wood tabletops from cups that sweat and create those unwanted ring marks.

Avoid Chemical Disasters

As guardians of our cherished wood furniture, we must be vigilant against harmful chemicals. Keep your furniture away from strong solvents and alcohol-based products, as they can wear down the finish and leave lasting marks on the wood’s surface. Damage from nail polish removers is a common concern we see in the shop. Even candles can pose a threat, as the heat from the flame can lead to dye in the wax interacting with wood finishes or seeping into the wood grain directly.

Embrace Protective Measures

Protect your wood furniture from daily wear and tear with subtle, yet highly effective, measures. Place coasters under drinks, placemats under hot dishes, and use felt pads under objects that may scratch or dent the wood. Additionally, when shifting bulky or heavy furniture that can’t be lifted, make use of sliders to allow the legs to glide smoothly across surfaces, preventing damage to the legs or frame. These simple precautions are worth their weight in gold.

Rotate and Rearrange

Even the mightiest oaks can benefit from a change of scenery. Periodically rotate or rearrange your furniture to distribute the wear and tear more evenly. This small gesture can extend the life of your cherished pieces and keep your living space feeling fresh.

Prevent sun damage to your wood furniture by using curtains or blinds on windows and occasionally rearranging your furniture.
Prevent sun damage to your wood furniture by using curtains or blinds on windows and occasionally rearranging your furniture

Guard Against Direct Sunlight

The sun, while a symbol of life and warmth, can also be a formidable enemy to wood furniture. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can lead to discoloration and fading. Consider using curtains or blinds to shield your furniture from the sun’s harsh rays, especially during peak hours.

Handle with Care

Last but not least, treat your wood furniture tenderly. Avoid dragging heavy objects across its surface and refrain from leaning or putting excessive weight on delicate areas. A little extra caution will go a long way in preserving the beauty of your heirloom-quality pieces.


By following these tips about how to care for wood furniture like a master craftsperson, you will ensure that your well-loved furniture pieces will last for years to come. And for already damaged furniture, hope remains! At Better Than New Fine Furniture Repair, we have the skills and experience to restore your furniture to its original beauty. Whether it’s a simple repair, refinish, or a full restoration, we are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality craftsmanship and service. Reach out today and discover how we can rejuvenate your furniture’s life, combining expertise and care to achieve brilliance once more.

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