Facts about Solid Wood Furniture
Your furniture is made from real trees, really.
A tree is a living organism, and though we can assure you that it will not take root in your home (only in your heart), it does still react to its environment. It will expand or contract depending on the humidity and the season. As a result, dimensions are never exact, dimensions are within an 1/8” given the movement. Just as every tree is unique, every piece of lumber is also distinct, which means that the grain will vary as will the way in which the stain will be absorbed.
Wood is Bossy
So, as much as we show the stain samples to choose from (and depending on your monitor), it is a guideline for the complete piece. This is the beauty of real wood: the fact that no two pieces will be exactly precisely alike. Those small quirks, the so called imperfections are what cannot be manufactured and what makes every piece unique. Additionally, many of those unique aspects are only revealed once furniture has been built and the stain is applied. It is the stain and finish that bring the woods’ beauty to light.
Keeping it Beautiful / Basic Care
The lacquer and sealants that are on your piece will take 3 weeks to fully cure to its’ hardest point. During those 3 weeks, do not leave anything on the surface overnight, do not use a polish, allow your piece to breathe.
Though solid wood furniture may be low maintenance, this does not mean no maintenance. To clean, wipe gently with a mildly damp soft cloth and wipe with the grain. Do not leave the surface wet, as this will affect the finish, always follow with a dry cloth if necessary. Do not use any other liquid as this will affect the finish. Solvents and alcohol are particularly bad. Clean up any spills immediately. If the wood absorbs liquid, it may crack or even warp.
If the lustre begins to dull then polish with a recommended polish. Rough scratchy surfaces and objects will mark the finish, such as the underside of plates. If something is rough to the touch, then it will be rough on your furniture. Be mindful of the environment: just as we would all dehydrate if we were left under bright unrelenting sunlight in an arid environment, so will solid wood. Be kind, lower the shades, mind the humidity, and keep the finish beautiful with a revitalising polish. Treat your furniture with care and respect and it will repay you with years of service.
Your furniture, being made from natural material is affected by changes in temperature and humidity in your home. Hardwood furniture does not take kindly to excessive dry air. As it loses moisture the wood shrinks, small gaps may appear in places like table tops. This does not affect the strength of your furniture. When the area’s humidity rises, these gaps will disappear as the moisture in the hardwood is regained. Even one or two plants in your room will significantly raise the level of humidity.
Avoid placing your furniture next to heating or air conditioning vents, radiators or direct sunlight (or halogen lamps close up) for prolonged periods. If you have leaves for a table, store them in an environment with similar humidity to your table (ie not in the basement). Always use coasters and hot pads for glasses and hot dishes.
Sunlight causes a second undesired effect, it can discolour the finish. So again, try and avoid direct sunlight.
So during the first few weeks of getting your furniture home be particularly careful about the above points. Never put hot dishes or Pizza Boxes directly on surfaces, as the heat and humidity can ‘lift’ the lacquer resulting in large white marks. Rule of thumb, if it’s too hot for you to hold, it’s too hot for your furniture.
Solid wood panels and tops are not glued to their supporting frames, to enable these surfaces to “Float” when they expand and contract (otherwise the wood would crack or warp). As a result of this method of construction, it is important that the furniture is placed on a level surface. For example, the doors on a dining server will not line up when placed on an unlevel floor.
Nature only creates and never repeats. So, each piece of wood is unique, with its own variation in grain and colour. The colour is affected not just by the grain, but also, knots, minerals and oils present in the wood. These variations will be present in any high quality piece of furniture made of genuine wood and are in no way manufacturing defects.