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5 Tips on how to maintain handmade furniture.

August 19, 2017

5 Tips on how to maintain handmade furniture.

After spending months of savings on a custom piece of furniture, the last thing you want to do is damage it.Understanding the materials and finishes used to make your custom furniture will help you to understand what maintenance will be needed to keep it looking new. Here are 5 tips on how to maintain your new handmade furniture.

1. Ask the craftsman

The best person to ask that will know better of how to maintain the piece is the craftsman that made it. It is always a good start to ask them before the piece arrives in your home. If you must clean the furniture before contacting them start with a lightly damp cotton rag and avoid applying more pressure than necessary. Always wipe dry with a clean cotton rag to avoid watermarks. 

2. Use coasters

Heat and moisture are woods worst enemies. Use a coaster to avoid the potential of damaging your new hardwood furniture. Once damage occurs it may be tricky to repair on your own. If damage does occur reach out to the craftsman as they may have some tips to help remove ghosting and damaged finishes. 

3. Cleanup messes immediately

Any liquid that remains on the finish for an extended period may stain and damage the finish. Wood is naturally very porous and even with a quality finish applied it may still absorb liquids. Wipe dry with a clean soft cloth. If the damage is already done we recommend dabbing the liquid then let dry. If the finish does not recover reach out to your maker for assistance. Most finished do recover within a week. 

4. Avoid cleaners with added waxes

Wood cleaners like Pledge contain added waxes that leave a film and build-up over time. They also make re-finishing your furniture very difficult. We recommend avoiding these cleaners and sticking to water and dish soap When using water make sure the cloth is fully rung out and only damp but not dripping wet. If you have a hand-rubbed oil finish there are specially made cleaners available to avoid raising the wood grain. Always ask the furniture maker if you are unsure. 

5. Avoid temperature, sunlight, and moisture extremes

If any of these locations are unavoidable ask your furniture maker about wood and finish options best suited for these environments.

UV - As your furniture ages, direct sunlight will change your furniture finish. While it is ultimately best to keep your furniture out of direct sunlight it can't always be prevented.  At Flint Alley Furniture we offer finishes with UV Protectants to help slow down this aging process. Even with a premium finish, we recommend moving the items on your desk to evenly expose the furniture to sunlight and prevent blotching. Extreme temperature differences can also damage your furniture. Examples of this can be under a window, next to or on top of a radiator or in a basement

Extreme temperature differences can also damage your furniture. Examples of this can be under a window, next to or on top of a radiator or in a room with no heating or air conditioning. Small differences

Moisture -  Open windows, basements, bathrooms, and rooms with a lack of humidity control or HVAC can cause your wood furniture to swell or crack. We recommend keeping solid wood furniture out of these locations unless you have proper humidity control. If it cannot be avoided ask your maker about what wood and finish options are best for you.

At Flint Alley Furniture we are here to help answer your questions and ensure you get the right piece of custom furniture for your needs and lifestyle. If you have any questions reach out to us directly or leave a comment. 

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