Your pieces have been made using traditional cabinetmaking techniques, and finished with several coats of hardwax-oil, hand rubbed between coats and allowed to harden, giving it a natural look and feel. This finish, while durable, requires more care than a lacquer finish. It does not need regular polishing or feeding with any spray wax or silicone, and should simply be wiped with a soft, lint-free cloth; never use spray wax or silcone, as this will create a sticky buildup, and dull the wood.
We recommend dusting it, or wiping it down with a damp cloth, then a dry cloth. Sticky marks and grease (jam, butter etc.) can be removed with a very mild (dilute solution) of washing up liquid (i.e. Fairy Liquid) on a wet cloth, then dried. This may eventually remove some of the protective oils, necessitating a re-application, as detailed below. Do not, however, be tempted to use silicone or wax polishes on any of the furniture.
Re-applying your oil finish: Get some teak or Danish oil (readily available from hardware stores) and apply it sparingly with a lint-free cloth. Then immediately buff surface to an even luster. It is better to apply several light coats, waiting a day between each coat, allowing it to cure. Applying one heavy coat may cause the surface to become tacky if not buffed off vigorously and completely. You need only do this if needed, or once a year.
Spills should be mopped up as soon as possible, red wine mopped up immediately, as the tannins in red wine will penetrate any finish. Avoid placing extremely hot plates and cups directly on the tabletops (i.e. plates warmed in the oven). Use placemats and coasters. Avoid dragging anything across tabletops; ceramic pieces sometimes have rough, unsealed bases that could scratch surfaces. Make sure that vases are sealed, as we have found that some seep water from unsealed bases.
All timbers react to light – this is called oxidation. Cherry and yew darken and develop a deep rich patina with exposure to light; walnut may become lighter, oiled maple may yellow (we lacquer-finish maple to avoid yellowing). You MUST protect your furniture from the effect of light, by the use of blinds/curtains in full sun.
When you place an object on your furniture, you may notice that when you lift it, there will be a light or dark patch beneath it, depending on the type of wood. Take care to rotate placement of objects on cherry surfaces; even moving pieces slightly will avoid shadows
Solid wood and timber veneers, being natural materials, will react to changes in temperature and humidity with movement, and doors and drawers may also move as the pieces ‘settle’ into the floor. Seasonal changes such as extreme heat will dry the timber (causing some shrinkage) and increased humidity will swell timber (drawers/doors may stick with excessive humidity). In air conditioned and/or centrally heated environments, we recommend that the relative humidity should be set at 50%, the temperature at 18-19 degrees centigrade. If you find your pieces reacting to seasonal changes, you may want to consider fine tuning the temperature and humidity in your home/office, such as regularly using a dehumidifier or regulating extreme heat. Please contact us with any questions regarding movement.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, accidents happen, and the furniture may acquire dents, bruises or the occasional scratch. The Japanese have a phrase for the ‘character’ a piece of furniture develops over the years: Wabi sabi, the collective memory of objects.
Should your furniture need repair or refinishing at any point, please contact us for a quote.
We trust that you will love living with your new furniture.