How to maintain solid wood furniture

How to maintain solid wood furniture - Alabama Sawyer

December 14, 2020

Solid wood furniture is the best-quality furniture you can choose for your home because it has proved to be sturdy and very durable. Solid wood adds a sense of warmth and character to a room setting. Also, such furniture stands the test of time and is usually passed down from generation to generation. It's not typically mass-produced, so each piece has its personality and charm. Wood is classy, timeless, and can quickly look brand new with some proper care. Like that's not enough – wood also has many health benefits. In this article, we will teach you how to maintain different types of solid wood furniture so that it can last you a lifetime.

Different types of solid wood furniture

Solid wood comes directly from lumber, so it is a direct product of trees. It includes softwood and hardwood. Compared to manufactured materials like plywood, veneer, and composites, natural solid wood is much denser, sturdier, and longer-lasting.

Wood furniture requires a more significant initial investment, but consider it as a wise long-term purchase. Each surface and plank is unique, containing textures and grains that make each one special.

Hardwood is denser than softwood, and it is used in high-quality furniture pieces. The most commonly used hardwoods in furniture pieces are:

  • Maple
  • Mahogany
  • Walnut
  • Oak
  • Hickory
  • Teak
  • Beech

Softwood is less dense, and the most commonly used ones for furniture are:

  • Fir
  • Pine
  • Spruce

If you choose one of those solid woods for furniture in your living room, you need to take proper care of it to preserve its beauty.

Avoid heat and sun exposure

First, you need to avoid placing your solid wood furniture pieces near anything that may produce heat, such as heating units, fireplaces, vents, and cooking surfaces. Dry and hot air can cause such furniture to deteriorate, deform, fade-out, and shrink while leaving cracks. If you use a humidifier on hotter days, bring up the moisture to 45% for optimal conditions and protection.

Prolonged exposure to sunlight can take a toll on your wooden furniture. UV rays cause bright and dark spots to form on the surface of the wood. That’s why you should avoid placing your furniture near any uncovered windows which would otherwise expose it to sunlight.

Cleaning with water and dish soap

As you already know, thorough and regular cleaning is essential for your wood to look great and last longer. Luckily, the cleaning regime is really simple. Wiping furniture with a damp cloth made of microfiber, together with some gentle dishwashing solution diluted in warm water, will safely remove grime, spots, and dust. Don’t worry - using water won’t harm your wood furniture. Just be cautious not to soak it. It’s most convenient to use a small brush for areas that are hard to get to and use soft cloths or paper towels to wipe the dirt off, including residual moisture. You will immediately see the difference.

Dusting, polishing, waxing, and oiling

Remember not to dry dust but instead use wood furniture polish. Dry dusting can cause small scratches on the surface of your furniture. First, remove excess wax build-up on wood using a wax remover. Let the furniture dry completely before beginning to coat it with wood polish. Spray your furniture with polish evenly and wait for about half an hour while it absorbs entirely. Then wipe in a back and forth motion. You can follow the direction of the wood grain. Buff until you can see that it is completely dry. It will leave a beautiful shine and a smudge-resistant finish.

Wax is an excellent protectant for wood, as it seals and restores its natural beauty. One of the most commonly used ones is paste wax, natural, environmentally-friendly beeswax.

Oiling is also highly recommended since it gives it a shiny finish, adds a protective layer, and revives its appearance. If you oil and wax your wooden furniture once every three months, it'll look fantastic. You'll be amazed how little time you need to keep your precious wooden pieces clean and how big a difference wood polishing makes.

Be gentle

Minor damages to wooden furniture are often caused by careless handling and neglect. Your furniture can easily stay in excellent condition with minimum time and effort. For the beginning, start using placemats and coasters. Function over form is sometimes the best approach. Avoid those that have holes in their design and don't absorb water effectively.

Scratches on wooden furniture can be prevented by simply keeping sharp objects away from them. If you have children or pets at home, covering the surface of your furniture with a cloth will minimize the risk of damage.

One of the situations that require special care of your wooden furniture is relocation. Remember to properly protect your wooden furniture when moving from one home to another. In the relocation process and during transport, it can suffer serious damage.

The best way to avoid improper handling of fine solid wood furniture is to hire reliable movers. Moving companies recommended by Verified Movers are known for their patience, and gentle care of precious furniture pieces like solid wood items are. Save yourself the trouble of transporting heavy pieces alone and minimize the risk of damage or breakage. You can additionally ask for moving insurance, just to be sure and feel calmer.

Prevent infestation

The most common worry when buying wood furniture is an infestation. As wood is a natural material, it is vulnerable to insect infestations. Wood beetles and termites cause irreversible damage as they eat your wood. When you don't deal with insects, they turn into a serious issue. Remember this when you are treating your furniture - this is the reason it must stay dry completely. You need to seal the micro-cracks that insects can use to crawl in. Regular home disinsection is an important maintenance step that you really shouldn’t skip. Also, it’s not hard to find insecticides that are harmless to furniture and easy to use.


Just like diamonds, your wooden furniture needs regular polishing for its shine and magic to really show and stay there. Every single piece of solid wood furniture can withstand a lifetime of use and age gracefully, with proper care and maintenance.