How to Care for the Woodwork in Your Home


Woodwork can make any house feel more welcoming and luxurious. From floors and furniture to moldings and baseboards, wooden accents add character to your home — especially when it’s well cared for.

But without proper care, even the most beautifully crafted woodwork can lose its luster over time. So what’s the best way to maintain wooden surfaces?

Here are a few tips:

1. Dust regularly.
Dust buildup looks bad and it increases the likelihood of surface scratches. You can use a soft duster for delicate surfaces, carvings and hard-to-reach areas. But to capture and remove dust more effectively, use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to wipe off dust. Immediately wipe away excess moisture with a dry, soft towel.

2. Clean with gentle cleansers.
Never use abrasive chemicals or ammonia cleaners. Opt instead for a mixture of mild soap or detergent and water. Apply a small amount with a damp microfiber cloth and rinse and dry immediately. Mineral spirits may be used for tougher jobs. But always do a test run in a small, discreet area beforehand.

3.  Apply polish, oil and wax as needed.

  • Polish is intended to add shine and reduce scratching. But aerosol polish can dissolve wax and leave a hazy film.
  • Conditioning oils add moisture to help prevent drying and cracking.
  • Wax touches up surface scratches and provides a harder finish and longer-lasting protection.

4. Pay attention to climate control.
Limit the wood’s exposure to direct sunlight. Avoid localized heat (like from plates, pots or pans). And keep relative humidity levels between 25% and 55%.

5. Prepare any outdoor woodwork properly.
For outdoor woodwork, teak oil can be used for hydration and protection against the elements. Wood furniture shouldn’t be left out in the cold or rain. If possible, move furniture to a covered area or cover it with plastic. You may also want to consider sealant.

If you have any questions about your home, please get in touch.

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