8 Tips for Hardwood Furniture Care

There are 2 environmental elements to consider before you consider buying wood furniture in order for it to stay beautiful for the long term, those are temperature and humidity. Wood is very sensitive to changes in relative humidity. As the weather changes, so does the relative humidity in your home and in the moisture content of the wood in your furniture.

This is because as the humidity goes down, the wood that your furniture is made of loses its regular moisture, and can cause cracking and shrinking as a result. This isn’t just a winter-particular phenomenon, either: throughout the seasons, as the humidity changes in your home, the wood can expand and contract to adjust to the fluctuating levels.

Top Tips to keep furniture from cracking

  • Wood does best in moderate conditions of around 21°C-22°C and a relative humidity of about 50-55%.
  • Frequent and sudden changes in relative humidity are especially bad. If exposed to relative humidity in excess of 70%, furniture and finishes can crack when the humidity level drops suddenly and the piece contracts. And relative humidity below 30% for extended periods of time will dry out the wood again leading to cracking.
  • Wood is most likely to crack when the climate in a home suddenly changes from hot and humid to cool and dry.
  • Use a humidifier in winter and an air conditioner in summer for best results.
  • Furniture ages more quickly if stored in a basement, attic, garage or warehouse.
  • Excess heat and dryness can cause wood to split and crack.
  • Place furniture away from all heat sources, in front of radiators, heat runs or fireplaces, if possible.
  • If you must put furniture near an air duct, use a shield or guard plate to direct heat away.

Seasons - Summer vs Winter

If you own fine furniture (or contemplating purchasing it), you should be aware of the effects humidity has on wood.

In the summer time humidity is high, air conditioners and dehumidifiers will help with high humidity. It is imperative to keep  furniture stored in a temperature of 18-25 degC and a relative humidity of 55%.

During winter months, humidity becomes low. Wood burning stoves can cause home to have very low relative humidity. The moisture will leave the wood and it is normal to see shrinkage and cracking as the wood adjusts to its new environment. Failure to produce the correct environment for all furniture may result in damage to any furniture in your home.

Wood is a most wonderful and sacred of materials because it was living. Learn enjoy imperfections as this is a unique and natural product. 

Great Care & Maintenance Products

 Here is a list of products we suggest to use on your hard wood furniture. 

1. CANADIAN BEESEAL

Since it is made from natural ingredients, Beeseal can be applied directly with the hands, or with a sponge.

1. Make sure to apply Beeseal on a dry surface with no visible dirt.
2. Take a small amount of Beeseal with your fingers, a cloth, sponge or brush. For hard-to-reach places, use an old toothbrush.
3. Apply in a circular motion on the surface to be treated.
4. Prefer an application in thin layers to avoid darkening the color of your leather.
5. Remove the excess by rubbing lightly with a dry cloth.

Your surface will be protected, without being greasy.

2. CIRCA LEMON OIL

With all the oils, we suggest to put into a spray bottle and let the product just soak into unprotected wood and for the hard woods (with a sealer) from India, just spray and wipe off. 

This product can be purchased at a variety of local stores such as Walmart, HomeHardware, Reno-Depot.  Prices will range from about  CA$9.99 to CA$19.99.