People design their homes so that their living spaces are seamless, with the interior and exterior components complementing each other. That goes for color, feel, materials used, quality, and so forth—these things are primarily determined by individual preferences.
But one thing is for sure, maintenance is a crucial part of homeownership. You’ve got to look after your home. After all, you’ve got to keep what’s keeping you, so it’s only right that you invest in home maintenance.
Now, with wood fixture maintenance, one has to keep in mind that wood is durable. But its longevity is partly determined by how you take care of it. Also, wood surfaces lose their luster if they are not properly maintained.
Therefore, you ought to clean and furnish your wood fixtures regularly, especially those that are outdoors because they’re always exposed to external elements such as wind, heat, and rain, which can cause a lot of damage.
That said, here’s a guide on how to maintain your outdoor fixtures like a pro!
1. Clean Wooden Surfaces
For wood to look spotless, you need to clean it regularly. This means that you always have to dust your furniture because dust collects easily on wood surfaces.
It’s also especially important to do this if you or any of your family members are sensitive to dust particles. Clean surfaces are a must if you wish to maintain a hygienic home space. That goes for outdoor space too!
Also, now and then, you may have to use a wood cleaner or an all-surface cleaner on your wood to maintain its luster. With time, wood can lose its shine. This gradual loss in luster is quickened when wood fixtures are outside because of exposure to temperature changes.
Therefore, you ought to look for the best exterior wood stain solution you can find so that you can have one on hand.
Furthermore, don’t use harsh chemicals such as chlorine or pine oil to clean wood surfaces as these substances can damage your wooden fixtures. Don’t be deceived by how clean they smell because abrasive substances should not be used on them.
Moreover, when using a product, remember that some contain too much petroleum and silicone oil which may leave surfaces greasy and sticky. So don’t use too much product when you clean your wooden appliances. Since you want to protect your wood, you still want it to look aesthetically pleasing. Greasy surfaces look otherwise.
2. Handle With Care
You need to ensure that you aren’t careless with wooden fixtures, so you should take precautions whenever you use wooden appliances to avoid damage.
Bear in mind that wood can be damaged by heat. It’s best to use coasters whenever you have a hot beverage, as well as when serving hot meals, to avoid direct contact with wooden surfaces.
Also, you should consider where you’re located and understand the type of weather you’ll be encountering. If you live in an area that receives a lot of rain, you can give your wooden furniture an extra layer of protection by using artificial sealants. These can help to weatherproof the wood and give it a deep, richly-colored finish.
3. Protect from Environmental Damage
Wood is relatively sensitive to temperature changes and they react differently to the elements. Therefore, it’s wise to keep wood fixtures away from things like fireplaces, barbecue grills, and vents. Also, try to keep wood away from direct sunlight. All these factors can do a lot of harm and can make the wood fade in color.
Also, when your wooden furniture is not in use, you can simply cover it or have it placed inside your house or in your storage area. This will help to preserve the integrity of your wooden fixtures and protect it from damage.
4. Promptly Treat Damaged Fixtures
No matter how diligent you are at maintaining your wooden fixtures, there is always a chance that it can sustain damage. For example, your wooden fixtures could get damaged from a hailstorm, which is not your fault. But you still have to repair it.
Similarly, fixtures may age and become structurally weak and succumb to damages. In such instances, you’ll need to repair them promptly as soon as you identify the fault.
If you can’t assess the extent of damage or are unsure about how to fix the problem, call up a carpenter to help you out with fixing your wooden fixtures. This is especially helpful when you’re an owner of antique furniture or products. Those products are structurally vulnerable and you need to check their condition regularly, or else they might fail.
5. Regularly Wax Your Wood
Depending on the wood finish, you may need to wax the surface regularly to maintain its shine. Rough finishes may not need to be waxed at all.
However, for smooth finishes, you need wax to either maintain or restore the shininess of the wood surface. Note that the smooth exterior ought to be shiny because luster makes wooden furniture stand out.
How to do it: Apply wax on the wooden surface and don’t allow it to set for an excess of 20 minutes. Remove excess wax until the surface is smooth.
6. Oil Your Wood
If your furniture hasn’t been used for a while, you may need to re-oil it. Dry wood needs to be re-oiled to restore its shine as well. If you are not sure about how to re-oil your wooden furniture, it’s best to look for a carpenter to do it for you.
This process is generally inexpensive but requires skilled hands to execute it. Also, if you intend to apply a protective coating, wait no less than 24 hours before proceeding with the application.
7. Read Manufacturer Care Guidelines
Every new product comes with guidelines or instruction manuals. If you’ve bought furniture directly from a retailer, don’t throw away the user manuals! Make sure you read the care guidelines outlined by the manufacturer.
They usually explain how you ought to clean the wood, storage instructions, and so forth. They also specify whether your wooden furniture is outdoor-ready.
Mind you, for your fixtures to be suited outdoors, they have to be built exactly for that. Wooden fixtures built for indoor use will not withstand prolonged exposure to elements. You don’t want to make such a mistake even though there is a possibility that you can always return the product.
So, if you’re buying wooden fixtures online, here’s a tip: read the product details carefully before buying them.
8. Manage Mold
Outdoor appliances are prone to having mold patches, especially on the underside of wooden tables or chairs. Mold isn’t particularly harmful, but it’s still not wonderful to look at either. So, you want to make sure that your furniture is mold-free.
Also, you certainly don’t want your pets licking off mold from under the table. Therefore, you need to inspect and remove mold on your wooden fixtures regularly. You don’t need to do this every week, but a monthly check-up should suffice.
9. Promptly Expunge Tough Stains
Despite your best efforts to keep your furniture looking and smelling great, you’ll encounter some tough stains here and there that require immediate attention. Stains are not all the same, therefore, you ought to deal with them differently. Plus, time is important. If you delay, it will become more and more difficult to remove some stains, such as paint. Here are a few guidelines:
- When you use a glass with water, white rings are usually left at the bottom. You can remove these white rings by mixing white toothpaste with baking soda. Rub the mixture onto the stain repeatedly until the stain is gone. Once complete, wipe the furniture and dry it with a cloth.
- For crayon stains, the best thing to use is mayonnaise. Rub mayonnaise onto the crayon stain and let it rest for a few minutes. Grab a damp cloth, and wipe away the mayonnaise. Use a dry cloth to finish.
- For black spots caused by water damage, grab a cloth and soak it with vinegar. Rub the cloth onto the stain until the stain is gone. The stain may not go away completely, but vinegar does a good job of blotting out the stain.
10. Keep It Smelling Fresh and Clean
It’s quite common for more antiquated pieces to develop an odor, especially if you’ve stored them away for a long time. It’s perfectly normal. So, what you need to do is bring your wooden item back to life by giving it a fresh smell.
You can pour baking soda on the surface of the wood and a plate of charcoal inside of the drawers if there are any.
You can also place the wooden furniture outside so that the unpleasant odor can dissipate in the wind. Make sure that it’s in a car shade or under the shade of a tree.
Maintenance is a key part of house ownership. The same is true for furniture. You’ve got to invest in wooden furniture maintenance for it to last. It’s true that, if you neglect maintenance in the present, you’ll pay the price in the future.
Therefore, you need to always be mindful of taking care of your wooden items, especially those that are used outdoors. Use the above guide as a general overview of how you can effectively maintain your wooden fixtures at home.