Care for your Wood Furniture:
Q: What’s the best way to take care of my wood furniture?
A: As a furniture refinisher and cabinet maker I get this question with every delivery I make. What I tell people is any non-silicone base polish is best. It can be tricky identifying non-silicone base polishes so I usually tell people simply use lemon oil. Without mentioning brand names, many of the old standard aerosol polishes you or your parents grew up using are silicon-based. Paste wax is also very good but time consuming to apply and some people do not like the fact that wax can build up. You can also do an internet search for non-silicone furniture polish, there’s lots out there.
Q: Why are silicone based furniture polishes not good?
A: It’s very deceiving because when you go to dust your furniture you spray on the polish and wipe with a soft cloth and it looks beautiful again…what can be wrong? Silicone does a couple of things to the finish over time. Firstly, what happens in time with repeated polishing and dusting with silicone based polishes is the silicone begins to build up. Eventually the finish becomes murky and/or cloudy and will then begin to lack clarity. The process never completely removes all the surface dust and in fact slowly drives the dust particles into the finish, in time the luster of your beautiful wood slowly slips away.
Secondly, as I mentioned silicone continually builds up on your furniture’s finish. Let’s say over time you would like to have your piece refinished to make it darker or lighter in color. The process as many of you may know is to first remove or strip the old finish off. Even after using stripping chemicals and neutralizing chemicals the process still drives the silicone molecules into the stripped and now raw wood. Simply put this a nightmare for the person doing the refinishing. The silicone in the wood now creates a condition to the newly applied finish called “fisheye”. Now when applying a new finish certain measures must now be taken to eliminate this very undesirable effect. I don’t want to scare people, a knowledgeable person refinishing your piece can still apply a nice finish however, and it takes extraordinary measures and an experienced refinisher to achieve this.
I’ve attached a few photos of examples of fisheye…it’s not pretty.
Be good to your wood and send along any questions you may have! David LaCroix is the Furniture Fixer,
The Furniture Fixer, David LaCroix & Sons Woodworking has been refinishing, repairing, and building custom furniture for over 20 years. Call us today at 203-627-2728 or you can see some of our before and after photos on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/FurnitureFixer