Protecting Your Investment
Your fine furniture represents an investment, and protecting your investment by caring for it properly ensures years - perhaps generations - of heirloom-quality beauty and use. Read on to learn the simple, yet important steps necessary to keep your high-end wood furniture as beautiful in the future as it is the day it's delivered to your home.
Conversion Varnish Versus Lacquer
LuxWood's craftsmen finish their furniture creations only with conversion varnish, rather than with less-expensive, lower-quality lacquer, which is routinely used on inferior, mass-produced furniture. Conversion varnish offers far superior results, providing a much greater hardness that makes it more difficult to scratch as well as giving the wood a greater resistance than does lacquer to moisture and substances such as ketchup, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and many others. Please remember, however, that although a conversion-varnish finish is scratch and mar-resistant, and not nearly as susceptible to water damage as other finishes, it does still require proper care.
Fine Furniture Dos & Don’ts
- Do limit direct sunlight on your wood furniture.
Place your furniture away from (especially) west-facing windows, most importantly during the afternoon, when the sun's UV rays are at their strongest, or make sure you close your drapes or curtains at this time of day.
- Do ensure that humidity levels in rooms in which your wood furniture is kept are not too high or too low.
Humidity can cause wood furniture to warp, while aridity (hot, dry air) can cause cracking and splitting; so if necessary, keeping humidity between 40%-45% by utilizing a humidifier during very dry weather (such as in the winter, when heating dries out the air) and a dehumidifier in warm, damp weather, such as in the summertime.
- Do position wood furniture away from heat sources such as fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, heating vents and/or ducts.
- Do avoid excessive waxing (polishing) and never use products that contain silicones, as these can damage the conversion-varnish finish.
Once or twice a month with a high-quality product (such as Guardsman Wood Polish) should suffice; otherwise, you are "polishing the polish" and thus merely rubbing dust and dirt into the finish. Instead, clean your furniture occasionally with an unsoiled, barely damp cloth (old tee shirts, cloth diapers or other cotton items work wonderfully!) followed immediately by a dry cloth. To clean deeper, add a drop or two of very mild dishwashing soap (avoid silicone oils or any ammonia-based cleaners), to a dampened cloth, making sure all soap is removed by going over it with another clean (soapless), slightly moist cloth and finally with the dry cloth.
- Do dust often - once a week, preferably - as dust may contain abrasive particles that can possibly damage the finish if left to accumulate.
Again, use a soft, clean (dry) cloth and follow the grain of the wood as you wipe across it.
- Do make sure that any dampened, printed material, such as newspapers, magazines and even plastic bags with print on them do not remain on the surface of your fine wood furniture long enough to transfer ink or dye into the finish.
This can occur not only, for instance, if these items have been brought in after a rain shower or have gotten wet by some other means, but even if the room has high humidity. If this does occur, immediately remove the items and dry the area with a clean cotton cloth.
- Do keep your high-end furniture away from tobacco smoke.
You may not detect a problem immediately; however, over time, smoke particulates build up on the surface of the wood and add a yellowish tinge to the finish.
- Don't use any cleaning product on wood furniture that contains bleach.
Bleach does to furniture what it does to your clothes: removes color. Your LuxWood wood furniture features beautiful, hand applied stains carefully selected by you and matched to your choice of wood, so bleaching would serve only to defeat the purpose of this beautiful, added value feature. Bleach also damages the conversion varnish in addition to reversing the benefits of any wax or polish you may have previously used.
- Don't use abrasive-type cleansers.
Products containing them will scratch and mar the finish of even the most durably finished furniture.
- Don't allow ammonia to come into contact with fine wood furniture.
It can cause oak to blacken and yellowing of painted furniture.
- Don't allow drinks to set down on furniture without a coaster and make sure the coasters have a non-scratching bottom surface.
- Don't set objects that are hot or cold or that have sharp edges on surface of wood furniture without a pad beneath them.
Although conversion-varnish finish is notably tough and durable, it is not indestructible. Our craftsmen utilize this particular type of wood finish specifically because of it superior hardness and mar-resistant qualities; however even furniture finished with conversion-varnish must be cared for properly and can still be scratched and damaged, so attention should be taken in its upkeep and care.
One more thing...
A conversion varnish finish requires at least a month from its application, along with consistent temperatures of at least 70º Fahrenheit, for its qualities to achieve their maximum protection, performance and effect. Because your LuxWood furniture is never mass-produced, but handcrafted at the time it is ordered and shipped immediately upon completion, please use extra caution in its care for the first few weeks (at least 30 days) that you have it in your possession - and then, following the above fine-furniture care advice, enjoy your investment of the finest-quality furniture available, handcrafted and proudly made in the USA!