Your solid wood furnishings have a look and feel unlike modernized home furnishings. These handcrafted Amish furnishings provide heirloom quality meant to be passed through the family and provide timeless character to each of them. The strength of solid wood is meant to last generations; however even with such durability and expected longevity, you must still provide your wood furnishings with protection from natural wear and tear.
Surface cracks, water spills, fading finishing’s, and scratches can distort that beautiful shine you have come to cherish in your favorite rocking chair or dining table set. It is possible for your wood furniture to last even longer than you’d expect with an adequate amount of care and maintenance to ensure that it retains its timeless quality for years to come.
While you might not need to repair wood furnishings as often as you would mass produced products or plastic furniture, time will still affect the beauty of your finished product. Like all furnishings, it is hard to avoid the mentioned usual wear and tear of everyday use; with wood being a natural component, it is more susceptible to damage from other natural elements and chemicals.
Regular maintenance can slow the expected deterioration of your Amish home furnishings or prevent certain damage altogether. Here are some tips to help preserve the beauty of your hardwood furniture pieces.
Cleaning & Care Tips
Taking the necessary precautions to keep your solid wood furniture from the expected dirt and grime, you must ensure regular cleaning with some constraint. Don’t invest in cleaning supplies with harsh chemicals or aggressive cleaning solutions in hopes of quick results; these quick fix options can distort the shine of the woods finish or scratch its surface. Proper care entails the correct technique and cleaning products when performing the usual tasks of caring for your Amish hardwood furnishings.
The best way to keep your furniture’s natural shine is through dusting. Preventing the dust from settling on the wood, soft cloths or feather dusters can be great tools; however, they only remove dust from the surface and not the vicinity of the room. To capture the dust try using a lamb’s wool duster with lanolin or even a slightly damp terry cloth and protect your furnishings from dust a few more days.
Even though hardwood Amish furnishings are exceptionally durable and resistant to most household spills, it is important to remove spills immediately and avoid potential issues. It is a simple clean with only the need for a soft cloth and some warm soapy water. The most important thing to note is that cleaning products that have been formulated to exclude abrasive chemicals [such as ammonia] should be used and are even affective against tough stains or grime. Also, you want to ensure that the cloth is refolded or cleaned frequently upon use, as you clean it possible to readmit soil and grime to surfaces and further distort the woods finish. Be sure to when washing the surface that you completely dry it with a separate soft cloth to avoid water spots.
Invest time in polishing your woods surfaces; however, keep polishing to a minimum because eventual buildup of films will further attract dust and other particulates. It is recommended that you polish at least twice a year to protect your Amish furniture’s finishing.
- Control the Environment
Frequent changes in the room temperature and humidity cause your furniture to react in varying ways such as enlarging or restricting in size. The recommended indoor humidity should be 30-40% and temperatures of at least 60-80 degrees throughout the year. Sun rays and fluorescent light fixtures can cause a chemical imbalance in your hardwood furnishings. Try to keep furnishings away from areas of direct sunlight and sources of heating and cooling. Avoid storing these heirloom furnishings in attics and cellar areas where temperatures are unmonitored.
One of the reasons Amish furnishings are so long-lasting is due to their easily repairable fixtures. Home furnishings made from cheap materials tend to break completely and they easily lose their luster after a certain period of time. Hardwood furnishings however, remain sturdy and can stand up to most issues.
One of the biggest challenges in furniture repairs are the supplies used; which is why you look for tools that can repair the issues without further damaging the finish. You could locate wood repair kits online or complete the repairs yourself using the correct materials:
- Pumice: to sand down or smooth nicked surfaces use this mild abrasive.
- Mineral spirits: a suitable replacement to turpentine.
- Linseed oil: used to create a lustrous shine; also known as Flax Seed
Keep these materials handy to repair the most common issues, such as:
- 1. Spills and White Rings
Coaster anyone? To avoid white rings caused by the sweat of a cold drink or heat of a hot beverage, implement the use of coasters to protect your hardwood tabletops. An unorthodox method to repair this would be using the heat of a blow dryer on the ring; if no sign of change, rub petroleum jelly or toothpaste on the area and clean with a damp terry cloth.
- 2. Ink Stains
More of a challenge, the removal of ink stains from hardwood surfaces is not impossible. Try mixing baking soda with water and pour on top the stain; remove with a damp cloth. If you’re handling a treated surface, the stain can easily be removed with the use of water and gentle soap. Be sure to test a small spot in either case to ensure that you don’t damage the surface further.
- 3. Nicks and Scratches
Scratches and nicks are not uncommon and even certain cleaning methods may leave their mark. If this happens and the scrape is light enough, you may be able to simply add a little coloring. Depending on the selection of finishing you may be able to mask the scratch with shoe polish, marker, or even coffee grounds. Whichever you choose, there are two rules: first, select coloring that matches the finishing; second, apply directly to the scratch and not beyond to the surface area.
Invest in Solid Wood Amish Furniture for Your Home
Hand crafted Amish hardwood furniture is a valuable investment for your home. With any investment however, it still requires adequate maintenance and proper care. Take time to follow through with provided tips and your hardwood furnishings will maintain their heirloom quality as the day it was built, with timeless sophistication and characterized beauty.