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FAQ Wood Furniture

1. Why is my cherry a different color than the one I saw in the showroom?

Cherry is photosensitive and therefore darkens into a deep rich color with exposure to light. The furniture in our showroom has already been exposed to a mixture of overhead lighting and natural light, so the color has matured. Your furniture will look like that in time, depending on the amount of light it gets. Photosensitivity affects different wood types in different ways.

2.   What are the black marks on my table?

The black marks on your table are mineral and pith fleck. These are most natural and are considered beauty enhancing character marks that do not exist in artificial or veneered furniture.

3.   How do I care for my newly purchased furniture?

We take great pride in creating a piece of furniture for you that can someday be passed down from generation to generation. However, its lasting beauty depends a great deal on the care it receives.

DO NOT USE A FEATHER DUSTER because it will simply move dust around, flinging it into the air. Feather dusters can't be washed, and a quill could scratch the wood surface if a feather breaks off. Dust is abrasive so infrequent or improper dusting can create a worn, dull surface over the years. Dust can accumulate in carvings, cracks and grooves and make wood look dark and unattractive. This dusty buildup eventually becomes hard to remove.

BE VERY CAREFUL USING WATER to clean wood. Wood should never get wet or soaked. Water can cause swelling, warping or staining when it penetrates a finish. Use coasters, pads, cloths or runners to protect against spills and water rings.

How to Dust

Here are some detailed tips from the experts. Use a clean, washable cloth made of soft, lint-free cotton. The best choices include an old T- shirt, diaper, cheesecloth, dish towel, piece of flannel, or chamois. The cloth should have no snaps, buttons, zippers or thick seams that could scratch furniture surfaces. Do not use a cloth that has hanging threads or unraveling edges. These could catch on wood slivers, molding, knobs or other loose pieces.

Dry Dusting Versus Damp Dusting

Many experts believe that dusting with a dry cloth is abrasive and will ultimately dull the finish. A dry cloth will not really remove dust, they say.

These experts typically recommend sprinkling a few drops of water onto the dusting cloth. The trick is to moisten the cloth just enough to make dust adhere to it. The cloth should not be so damp that it wets the wood. If you can see any trace of water on the wood after you wipe, your cloth is too damp.

Wipe off dust using gentle, oval motions along the grain of the wood. Turn or fold the cloth as soon as dirt is visible on any section. Lift, don't slide, lamps and objects to dust under and around them.

OILY CLEANERS and polishes will not provide a lasting, hard coat. Those containing silicone oil will create a nice shine and a slippery surface, but they can interfere with refinishing. This type of oil can seep through cracks in the finish into the wood. This can ruin the new finish later. Be aware that labels often fail to say whether products contain silicone oil. We do not recommend use of these products. Changes in humidity, not a lack of oil, cause wood to crack.

On furniture with reclaimed woods, like Chestnut or White Pine, the finish is oil-based. A dry or damp soft cloth is good for basic cleaning, but for tough spots use 100% Mineral Oil.  Do not use mineral spirits, which will damage and remove the finish.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

The ultraviolet rays of the sun will damage a finish and bleach the wood underneath. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the finish to crack, sometimes in a pattern resembling the skin of an alligator. Tablecloths and doilies slow down the process, but they don't stop it. Try to keep furniture out of direct sunlight. When this is not possible, reduce the amount of light streaming on any piece of furniture. Use window shades, drapes or blinds to block light during the time of day the furniture is exposed. Uniformly expose surfaces to light. Especially avoid letting the sun hit only part of a surface. Occasionally move lamps, doilies and other objects so the wood bleaches uniformly.

Avoid Chemical Exposure

Keep solvents such as nail polish remover, alcohol and paint thinner away from wood furniture because they can harm the finish. Alcohol is contained in colognes, perfumes and medications as well as in wine, beer and liquor. Fingerprints, perspiration and body oils can harm a finish over time, especially on chairs. Plants and flower nectar that touch the finish can also cause permanent stains. Placing hot items on furniture can cause a chemical change in the finish that results in white rings or spots. Products containing ammonia should never be used on your furniture as they will harm your finish. We recommend the use of hot mats, coasters even though the finish is water and heat resistant.

Do not leave plastic objects lying on wood surfaces. Color from plastic tablecloths, appliance covers, wrappers, place mats and toys can leach into wood over time. Plastic can also stick to a finish, damaging it when it is pulled up. Firm writing on the finished surface may cause indentations to the finish/wood.

Lift, don't slide, objects on wood. Place objects on trivets, tablecloths, doilies or others covers to protect the finish. Use felt bottoms on lamps and other decorative objects. Avoid brightly colored felt because its color could leach into the wood. Some experts say brown is the best color choice.