Caring for your new Furniture
Timber, being a natural resource, can and will react to the surroundings it is placed in. It is one of the defining factors between plastic laminate and real timber furniture. Our timber furniture has been made with the best quality materials available, but there is a level of natural movement and colour variation in timber that will happen regardless of the grain, species or polish. Our customers must understand there will be times where a join or natural feature might raise or lower slightly, or the timber will lighten or darken due to changes in exposure, seasons and climatic conditions. This is totally normal and should be expected when purchasing natural timber furniture. All timbers will gradually change colour with exposure to light. How much change depends on how much light it is exposed to, the more light the quicker the change. New timber will change colour the most when it is first purchased, and slow down once it has been settled into its regular usage (usually after 12 months) All solid timber contains a level of moisture and depending on its surroundings, will expand and contract. Our furniture is designed to cope with a reasonable amount of expansion and contraction that it will be exposed to in general household use. Whilst we use solid timber for as many components of our furniture, it is this reason that parts of our furniture are made from natural timber veneered MDF, which does not react as sensitively to environmental factors. Factors like direct sunlight, air conditioning and gas heating will dry moisture out of timber, causing it to shrink in size. Factors like evaporative coolers and humid climate will let timber absorb moisture and it will expand in size. In Slab heating is particularly bad for solid timber furniture as the heat radiates up from the floor to the bottom side of the furniture and causes the bottom side to dry out, where the top is not exposed to the same radiating heat. Below are a list of recommended do’s and don’ts, to help you maintain your furniture and prevent any long term issues caused by the environment furniture is placed in.
The Do’s and Don’ts
Moisture in the room is the number 1 priority – eg, a vase of flowers, a fish tank, plants, a kettle of water on the wood stove. These will offset the use of air-conditioners and heaters which all draw moisture from the air. Dry air will dry out the timber. Use place mats and coasters on surfaces to avoid scratching and damage. Move around items on the tables, cabinets for their first 3-6 months to prevent items creating sunburn marks. If possible rotate the chairs in different positions and even spin tables around to allow an even exposure to light, especially near windows. Close blinds when possible, eg leaving the house, or when direct sun comes in. Not only is this good for your heating and cooling costs but also for preventing sunburn and drying out of timber due to excessive direct sunlight.
- place in direct sunlight it will cause fading and shrinkage leading to splitting.
- place electrical equipment on solid sections it will cause excessive shrinkage and may split.
- use silicon based cleaning products eg, Mr Sheen, Buff Up, Goddart’s Beeswax.
- place near radiant heat eg, heating ducts, open fires, gas or electric heaters – it will lead to shrinkage and cracking.
- place hot cups and plates directly on the surface they will damage the lacquer causing a steam ring. Any item hotter than what you can hold in your hand is a heat hazard and should not be placed directly on to the furniture.
- place chemical products on the surface eg, pot-pourri oil, perfume, nail polish remover, eucalyptus oil. All will react to the lacquered surface.
- leave items on the top of new furniture for extended periods of time it will create a “sunburn” mark while the timber is changing colour initially. Especially thinks like platters , table runners and coasters.
Products We Recommend
These products are available to purchase at our Showroom in Fyshwick
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- Sprayglow – as a furniture polish, great for all timber furniture. Manufactured by the actual lacquer company we use to polish furniture. We sell Sprayglow at the showroom for $19 per can.
- Spraylac – for minor touch up work, used with light sandpaper to remove minor scratches. We sell Spraylac at the showroom for $19 per can.
- Leather care kits – Regular cleaning with the Leather Italia leather cleaner is advised particularly if the furniture is in regular use. Apply a small amount of the leather cleaner to an area which is not seen. (e.g. the base of the inside arm below the cushion line). This will serve as a pre testing area. It is important to clean a whole panel rather than just one spot for a more consistent finish. Circular movements are preferable to back and forth strokes ‘rubbing’. Clean excess cleaner with a damp cloth and leave to dry for 30 minutes. Use a damp cloth and warm water to remove dust and use the cleaner sparingly.
- Felt glides for Furniture– Great for the bottom of legs, cabinets and any items that are on timber or cork floors, to prevent scratching. Our larger items come standard with a Teflon button glide attached, which can be pulled out with pliers to attach the felt glides.