Respecting Wood: Caring for an Oiled Wood Surface

Do you respect wood? We hope so, and if you do, here is the 101 of how to care for it.

The method of caring for wood surfaces really depends on how it was finished. A cleaner that is designed for hard polyurethanes will strip a wax or degrade an oiled surface, and a cleaner designed for an oiled surface can contaminate a film coating or make it tacky over time.

The day-to-day maintenance of an oiled surface can be broken down into two categories:

  • Dusting – if possible, just wipe the surface clean with a lint-free cloth, microfibre towel, or another duster. Dust accumulation isn’t an issue but left to build up on its own it can collect small particulate that can scratch the surface.
  • Damp Cleaning – When more than just a dusting is needed, wipe the surface clean with a lightly dampened cloth, and if necessary, use a mild oil-based cleaner. Avoid using general household or all-purpose cleaners. These can strip the wax and damage cured oils.

Over time, general wear can happen, and areas may need rejuvenation or repair. Fortunately, oiled surfaces are easy to repair Simple clean the area to make sure there are no contaminants, apply a small amount of the chosen oil with a lint-free cloth (we may even recommend our Hardwax Oil), wait 20 minutes and buff off any excess oil.

To reduce the chance of damage you can also use other protective measures. Use coasters under beverages, trivets under hot dishes, and placemats under plates. Wipe up spills when they happen, or as soon as they are noticed. While most products are resistant to water or other liquids, left long enough, just about any spill could cause damage to nearly any finish.

These simple care tips can keep your furniture looking beautiful for a long time to come. There is nothing like the warmth of well finished natural wood, and it is more than worth it to keep it that way with a little maintenance.