When caring for your fine furniture, use a gentle touch and the mantra that “less is more.” You don’t need an arsenal of cleaning products nor do you need to spend hours keeping your furniture in nice condition. Some folks claim, “Dust protects antiques.” We recommend keeping the dust at bay so that you can enjoy your furniture, but rather than polishing your furniture, spend your free time on the tennis court or reading in the garden!
Living with wonderful furniture and protecting it from damage is often a matter of common sense. Wood furniture is happiest when it lives in a room that’s between 65 and 75 degrees fahrenheit with the relative humidity in the 50 – 55% range. Furniture should not be placed in direct sunlight because it will fade and dry the wood.
Today’s furniture lacquers need very little care. Old, clean undershirts and cloth diapers make excellent dusting cloths. Dust will cling to the cloths if they are lightly dampened but not wet. There should never be moisture left on the furniture after dusting. Dust in the direction of the grain pattern to prevent noticeable scratches from dust particles. Spray furniture waxes and polishes are not necessary and can cloud the furniture finish. Wood furniture does not need to be “fed” with lemon oil or other preparations. If you wish to use furniture polish, consult your furniture retailer for a recommended product.
Temperature and Humidity
In addition to sunlight damage, wood suffers when exposed to extremes in temperature and humidity. Do not store wood furniture in an attic, storage facility or moving van where temperatures are outside the 65 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit range or humidity drops below 50%. If you are away from home for extended periods of time, try to maintain temperatures and humidity levels that are kind to furniture. If you have a piano in your home, these temperature and humidity suggestions will also help it stay in tune and maintain its quality.
If you’re moving when it’s very cold or hot outside, try not to move furniture directly from cold to warm or warm to cold conditions without allowing it to acclimate. A good way to do this is to slowly adjust the temperature in the house – heat or air conditioning. If you have a garage, it can be a good place to bring furniture up or down halfway to temperature before moving it into your home or onto a moving van. ProtectionIt’s a good idea to use coasters under glasses and cups that rest on wood or marble tops since moisture and heat can cause damage. Prevent scratches by placing protective felt disks under lamps and accessories that rest on wood and marble tops. Some rubber or plastic feet on trivets and other accessories can damage wood finishes by chemically reacting with the finish.
Use care when moving anything on a wood top. Pick it up and move it rather than sliding it across a wood surface to prevent scratches or gouges.?If you choose to use a piece of glass on top of a chest or dresser, place felt disks between the glass and the wood to allow for air circulation.
The brass hardware used on Fine Furniture Design™ furniture has a protective finish that prevents tarnishing, so all it needs is an occasional dusting. Alcohol and ammonia can remove the finish, and without a finish, the brass will darken in color and develop a patina. We recommend simply dusting your hardware. If you decide to polish your hardware, consult your furniture retailer for a quality brass polish and remove the hardware from the case piece before working on it.
Emperadora marble and travertine lend wonderful colors and textural accents to furniture. Although stone is strong, it needs to be protected from breakage, liquids, sunlight and temperature extremes. To care for your stone tops, dust with a lightly moistened, soft, clean cloth – as you would your fine wood furniture. Use coasters for wet glasses or hot cups and place felt disks under accessories.
If you are storing or moving your marble top, make sure it does not stand on end. It should be stored flat without heavy objects resting on top of it. If you’re moving the marble, have your movers crate it in a cushioned wood frame and lay it flat in a protected place in the van.
Some people like to put marble polish on their stone. If this is your desire, consult your furniture retailer for a recommended product.