Ever heard it said that ‘The best defence is a good offense’? Caring for your oak furniture could be considered in the same way. Think of furniture care as more of a preventative to a potential problem rather than a cure for it and you and your oak furniture will be firm friends for many years to come. Here are just a few of our top tips on how to care for your oak furniture and keep it happy as Larry for ever more!
Dusting is one of the first things we put off if we’ve only got time for a quick clean, but putting a moment aside every other week to pay attention to those special pieces of furniture, can really benefit them in the long run. Giving furniture a polish is a bit like giving your skin a cleanse and a touch of moisturiser…
It will remove unwanted marks that could imbed over time and leave your piece as sparkly and new as the day it arrived. Make sure you’re using a clean cloth and some non-silicon furniture polish for best results.
Using Coasters and Placemats
It’s always regretful when an annoying bit of excess water on the bottom of your cup causes an unsightly ring. The best way to prevent it is to provide members of the household with some coasters or placemats to put under cups and plates. Equally hot pots and plates can cause similar issues, so a protective layer between the wooden surface and whatever you’re placing down will keep your furniture looking beautiful for a much longer period. We tend to use vintage tiles (with felt pads underneath), our collection of wooden chopping boards or some crochet mats as ways of protecting our tables.
The Twice Annual Tighten Up!
If you’ve bought a product that has screw in handles or a bed that’s held together with screws, it’s a good rule of thumb to set a date in your calendar for a quick tighten up to avoid any unwanted wobbles or damage. Screws will naturally loosen over time, particularly in a bed, that deals with general movement on a daily basis. Leaving them loose can cause extra strain to your furniture, so just take a while, every so often to tighten them up and your furniture will feel as solid and sturdy as the day you invited it into your home.
Our Firm Friend – The Felt Pad!
If you’re like us and love to display a plethora of paraphernalia on your furniture, it’s a wise idea to add a little cushioning to your items if they’re going directly onto an exposed surface. Felt pads are cheap and easy to apply to most items, and can make a huge difference if your favourite piece is a little on the rustic side. If you’re cleaning always ensure you lift ornaments rather than sliding them around when dusting. Though oak furniture is very durable, it only takes a small a tiny sharp edge to cause a scratch in the lacquer, so you’re better off being diligent. If you do get a mark, there are some great tips here on the guardian website for DIY repairs.
Don’t Be a Drag
Try to avoid dragging your furniture where possible, if it needs to be moved, give it a lift, this will save your floor and also helps to maintain the strength and integrity of your piece. Always unload it before you move it, so that you’re not causing extra stress and strain to you and your furniture. A heavy load and too much force could damage the structure of your piece, so unload it and lift it and don’t forget to bend your knees!
Everybody Loves The Sunshine
If your piece has a large surface area, like a table, it’s important to ensure that all aspects of the piece get exposure to sunlight in equal proportions. If you have a table with leaves, for example, make sure you extend them out as often as possible, rather than just on Christmas Day! Over time oak furniture will age beautifully with gradual bleaching by the sun, so try and ensure it gets an even tan with no strap marks and you’ll have a stunning colour across the whole piece.
Give Plants a Base
Make sure all plants have a tray under them, or a pot around them. We love having plants out all over our Cotswold Company home, but we know that spillages or overflows when watering can cause havoc! Always ensure they have that extra layer of casing outside the planter and your furniture will have some protection against potential water damage. We’ve spent years collecting ours from various boot fairs and charity shops and find collating them together can be just as fun as grouping the plants.
Don’t Vacuum Angry!
It’s always a good rule of thumb to hoover when you’re in a good mood, or not in a rush (when is that I hear you cry?!) we can all get a little over zealous when we’re whizzing around with the vacuum, but all the knocks and bruises can take their toll on your furniture if you’re not careful. Be calm and gentle when you’re doing your weekly clean and your furniture will look healthy, happy (and less scared) for a long long time.
Lastly…Protecting Your Home
We don’t want to make out that your oak furniture is a home wrecker, but it’s a sturdy piece that may need a little extra guidance to become more gentile! We suggest adding floor protectors to the base of your furniture where possible, just to ensure your floor is kept in perfect condition. Again; try not to drag the furniture if you can help it, even though we do our best to remove any rough surfaces, if a small piece of grit gets trapped, you could end up with unwanted damage!