Caring for your Wood Furniture - Real Wood Furniture, Virginia
To maintain the finish, mild dish soap or a damp cloth is recommended for cleaning up after spills, just as you would clean woodwork. Vinegar can also be used. If a mild abrasive is needed, baking soda toothpaste works well when applied with a soft damp cloth. For additional protection, there are many products on the market, and some are hazardous to your furniture's health. Cleaners such as Pledge and Murphy's Oil Soap are not recommended because they leave a dull residue on the finish. Never use products containing ammonia on water base finishes. Polishes such orange oil work well for routine maintenance. To prevent splitting, maintain even humidity conditions in your home. Do not place hot pots and laptops directly on surface. When hot objects are left on a wood surface for an extended period, damage may occur. Use a trivet or placemat.
For Water Based Finishes
To maintain the finish, clean surface with a damp washcloth and wipe dry. Cleaners such as Pledge and Murphy's Oil Soap are not recommended because they leave a dull residue on the finish. Water based surfaces may be cleaned with a damp cloth or General Finishes Orange Oil. Do not use household cleaners or window cleaners. Paste wax is not recommended because it builds up and yellows, thus becoming a maintenance problem. Water Based Top Coats may be recoated at any time in the future. Remove any grease or dirt, lightly sand with #320 or finer grit sandpaper, and then apply another coat.
For Oil Based Finishes
It's important to let your final coat cure for a period of 14 days to reach optimum hardness. You may use your project sooner, just treat it with special care during the curing period. To maintain the finish, use General Finishes Orange Oil or just a damp cloth. Paste wax is not recommended, because it builds up and yellows, thus becoming a maintenance problem. To rejuvenate an old dull finish, simply clean surface well with mineral sprits and '0000' steel wool and apply one of General Finishes Oil Based Top Coats.
Orange Oil is by far the most popular. It can be used on any finish and does a superb job of removing everyday dirt and dust. It is often compared to lemon oil - however the big difference is that lemon oil contains mineral spirits. Orange Oil is all natural, non-combustible and made from real orange rinds. We love its fresh orange scent.
Satin Finishing Wax
Satin Finishing Wax (natural or dark) is a dual-purpose product. It can be used as a polish for rubbing out new finishes or as a scratch remover for worn surfaces. It works well over both oil and water based finishes, including Danish Oil. We recommend a wet sanding process followed by buffing to a soft silky sheen.
Butcher Block Oil
Butcher Block Oil is an excellent protectant for all butcher block surfaces. It is FDA approved for protecting wood surfaces that come in contract with food: Simply wipe on, allow 5 minutes to penetrate and wipe off the excess. Use on cutting boards, utensils, bowls, butcher blocks, etc. Odorless.
Furniture Cleaner is our strongest heavy duty cleaner with a mineral spirits base and is designed for serious cleaning applications. Apply with a 0000 grade steel wool to remove old oils, wax and grease from any wood surface. After the surface is clean, apply General Finish's topcoats or Satin Wax to bring back luster.