Solid Timber has movement because wood was once living with cells that held water vital to its growth. Long after the tree is cut down and the wood is dried, those cells continue to exchange moisture. Under humid conditions during the summer, these cells absorb moisture, swell and cause the piece to expand. As winter approaches and it becomes dry, the wood cells release moisture, shrink and cause the wood to contract in size.
Solid Timber Furniture Care Information
Timber is a natural product and has characteristics that make each piece of furniture unique and individual. Mineral streaks, grain variations, knots, pitch pockets, colour variations and other markings create a natural beauty. No two trees are exactly alike, and this is reflected in the unique character that is reflected through the lustre of our carefully applied finishes.
Timber will continue to exchange moisture with the atmosphere in response to changes in the relative humidity around the furniture. Extremely dry air will cause timber to lose moisture and shrink a little, correcting itself when the humidity rises again. Maintaining a stable humidity level or reducing the rate of change of relative humidity will reduce the amount of movement within your timber furniture. These movements are, however, natural changes and do not affect the quality and sturdiness of your furniture.
Humid weather may cause drawer fronts to swell and become difficult to open and close. Although every care is taken to allow for normal expansion, extreme conditions may cause drawers to stick. A simple solution is to rub candle wax on the drawer sides. When the air dries, the drawers will stop sticking as the wood dries again.
Exposure to continuous direct sunlight should be avoided. Extended exposure can create hairline cracks in the finish or can affect the colour by fading or darkening. Arranging furniture away from direct sunlight and using window treatments to block out ultra violet rays is recommended. "Mellowing" is a natural darkening of timber with age and is not considered a defect.
Taking Care of Your Timber Furniture
- Don't put anything that is hot directly on your furniture;
- Use natural fibre cloths or felt pads under lamps and other accessories and use protective pads when using writing utensils. Coasters should be used when placing hot or cold drinks on timber furniture;
- When working with items that can potentially damage the timber, use a protective sheet or covering. Crayons, markers and glues, as well as oils from scented potpourri, can cause damage to finishes;
- Avoid excessive scratching by lifting objects rather dragging them.
Polishing or Waxing Your Timber Furniture
Polishing or waxing with clear wax or Woodhoc Antique Wax 2 or 3 times a year is recommended although doing it more often won't damage the finish. Keep in mind that over polishing or waxing can detract from the appearance of the finish.
To polish or wax your timber furniture, please follow this procedure:
- Using the polish or wax sparingly, dispense a little on a clean natural fibre, lint free cloth;
- Wipe the polish or wax on the furniture in the direction of the grain, avoiding circular motions. Wipe excess polish or wax off with a second cloth or the clean side of the cloth you are using;
- Avoid excess rubbing as this can be detrimental to the finish and cause uneven shine;
- Avoid the use of silicone-based polishes or waxes as these can clog the pores of the timber and soften the finish making repairs difficult.
Minor Repairs and Touching Up
Although minor damage to timber furniture can be repaired with the right materials and careful attention to detail, always test your remedy on an inconspicuous area to make sure that it does not damage the finish. The following are suggested methods only and individual results may vary.
Nicks and Scratches
Minor scratches that expose the timber under the finish can be made less noticeable by colouring with a touch up pen in a colour that matches the furniture.
Stroke the felt tip of the pen over the scratch in the direction of the grain. Rub off excess colorant immediately with a soft cloth. Polish the entire surface with an approved polish.
Water marks will often dissipate over time; however, if after a month the mark still remains then apply a little salad oil to a clean white cloth and rub on the mark in the direction of the grain. Polish after drying if necessary.
Heat marks can be treated by rubbing gently with extra fine steel wool or by coating the area with salad oil, wiping dry with a clean cloth and following with a polish.
Placement of Your Timber Furniture
Most homes have slight variations in floor levels caused by age, construction or floor coverings. Our furniture is constructed to stand on flat level surfaces and all drawers and doors are aligned when leaving the factory. Floor variations may result in the misalignment of your furniture.
Levelers can be used under the furniture to align the piece correctly. Over time as the furniture settles into floor coverings, it may become necessary to re-adjust the levelers, especially if heavy items are placed on top of the furniture or the furniture is moved.
Moving Your Timber Furniture
Particular care must be taken when moving fine furniture to avoid damage.
- Remove all knobs and castors and either place them in an envelope or tape them inside a drawer so they are close at hand when unpacking.
- Remove adjustable shelves and wrap them separately. Glass shelves or tops should be removed before moving furniture.
- Close and secure all drawers and doors by covering with a blanket and tying loosely.
- Protect corners and other projections with padding or foam. Lift, don't drag or slide furniture as it may bend or break legs. Do not lift by yourself as you may cause injury to your back.
The Reclaimed Fir Wood is salvaged from old buildings throughout Europe and gives the furniture a distinctive feel and character. The Elm Wood comes from old doors, window frames and floors and is often over 100 years old. Hand planed, lightly sanded and unfinished the piece shows the history and imperfections earned in its former life. By their nature salvaged wood planks may be somewhat uneven but this just enhances the natural “one of a kind” character. Cracks and natural marks may be present. Individual distinctions are part of the beauty of any solid wood product & distinguish it from imitation and synthetic wood. Given its handmade and hand-finished nature, variations in the wood or metal work are to be expected and celebrated. Each item is unique and no 2 are the same.