With an increasing number of people focussing on the sustainability of their purchases, furniture manufacturers have been influenced by this and are offering more furniture pieces that promote sustainability, made with materials such as bamboo and reclaimed wood. As the name suggests, reclaimed wood furniture is made up of wood that has previously had another use, it can be made from anything between old roof beams to fishing boat timbers.
By purchasing furniture made from reclaimed wood you are playing a part in saving the planet, as recycling wood helps to reduce the number of trees cut down as well as reusing unwanted materials. To find out more on reclaimed wood and where it comes from, take a look at our previous post which looks into reclaimed pine. Reclaimed wood furniture can be found in many different forms, anything from wardrobes, dining tables to sideboards. However, to ensure that you get the most out of your pieces it is important to maintain its integrity.
At Inside Out Living, we want to make sure that you keep up the great condition of your reclaimed wood furniture, so we’ve put together a guide on how to maintain this.
Apply Varnish, Oil, Or Wax
If you’re reclaimed wood furniture hasn’t already been treated before purchasing, by applying a varnish or oil this will help to protect the furniture from staining. If you are looking to keep the details in the grain of the wood, oil is generally recommended. That said, using varnish will give it a smooth, glossy finish that some people may prefer.
If you varnish or oil is not for you, waxing your reclaimed wood is another option to consider which is recommended to be done very regularly in the first few months of owning your reclaimed furniture item, for example, every month. To maintain the colour of your furniture you can use clear wax, which will help to avoid your furniture becoming too dark.
Keep Out Of Direct Sunlight
As you may already know the sun can often bleach things, think about your hair becoming lighter in the summer months. For this reason, it is important to try and keep your reclaimed wood furniture out of direct sunlight, to ensure the colour of your furniture does not change.
Keep Away From Heat
For a similar reason to keeping your reclaimed wood furniture out of the sunlight, you must also ensure that the furniture is not kept too close to heat sources, such as a radiator, as this can sometimes cause the reclaimed wood to crack, which let’s face it nobody wants to have!
If you’re using reclaimed wood as an outdoor furniture piece, the same rule goes and we’d recommend keeping it in the shade, perhaps under one of our parasols.
Using mats to protect the table will not only help to protect the table from any hot dishes that you may need to put on the table but also help avoid indentations from writing on paper as well as protecting from spillages. For a reclaimed wood dining table coasters, placemats or a classic table protector underneath a tablecloth would help to provide some protection.
Take Care When Cleaning
Tables can often be left with ring marks from where glasses have been placed down and water has dripped down onto the table, to avoid these marks on your reclaimed wood coffee or dining table you must try to make sure that these are cleaned up as soon as possible before the water makes a stain in the wood.
When it comes to cleaning, we recommend using a lint-free cloth, such as a duster, when gently wiping over the top. If a wet cloth is needed to clean up, you can slightly dampen the lint-free cloth to wipe the table. You may want to look into picking up a small brush at the shop to help remove any dust or crumbs that may have fallen into the small nooks and crevices of your reclaimed wood furniture dining table.
If a deeper clean is required on your furniture, Murphy Oil Soap suggests using a blend of vinegar and water on unfinished pieces and a natural cleaner similar to the Original Wood Cleaner on treated pieces to help protect their character.
Move Furniture Carefully
You may think to maintain your reclaimed wood furniture it would only relate to the points previously mentioned. However, it is also important to take care when moving your reclaimed furniture and lift the items rather than dragging them to prevent damaging the joints as well as saving your flooring from scratches.
We’ve covered the basics of maintaining your reclaimed wood furniture, but we love a good Mrs Hinch cleaning hack, so if you’ve used any other techniques to maintain your reclaimed wood be sure to let us know on social media what has worked for you.