Furniture preservation isn’t just something you do for your great-grandmother’s bedroom furniture or your antique poster bed. By properly taking care of furniture you buy today, you can enjoy it for years to come.
One of the best tips for protecting furniture is to make sure you start the act of preservation as soon as you can. Whether your furniture is brand new or years old, it’s never too early or too late to start maintaining it correctly.
In today’s ‘throw-away’ society, many people fail to take the time to care about furniture preservation. But for people who have furniture they’d like to hand down to their children, help is available. There are tips to preserve furniture not just for tomorrow, but also for decades to come.
The two greatest threats to furniture are people and the environment. The good news is you can have control over both of these factors.
Furniture Preservation 101
The first threat you can control when safeguarding furniture is the human element. For example, take extra care whenever you’re around your living room furniture you’d like to preserve. For example, keep the vacuum away from fragile living room sofa legs and avoid placing drinking glasses directly on table surfaces. In other words, treat the furniture with respect.
The second threat is the environment. Temperature, humidity, and light all play a role in the aging process of wood and upholstery, the two main components of furniture. The first step in preserving furniture is to make sure that your heirlooms are out of harm’s way as much as possible.
Steps to Furniture Preservation
It’s also important to know what types of materials are in the furniture items you plan to preserve. But even if you are unsure, there are a number of rules for maintenance that can be followed across the board, regardless of the building material:
- Dust wood finishes with a magnetic cloth.
- Avoid harsh commercial/retail oils, sprays or cleaners on wood and fabrics.
- Apply only a light coating of paste wax once a year to preserve woodwork.
- If liquids come into contact with the furniture, wipe them up immediately.
- For added protection to coffee tables or dining room tables, use a tablecloth to repel water, food and other destructive substances that might spill.
- If heavy objects are placed on top of furniture, put padding underneath them to protect exposed surfaces.
Moving Preserved Furniture
The day might come when you need to move furniture you’re trying to protect. Items such as living room furniture or bedroom furniture are usually heavy in nature, so it’s important to remember two key rules for moving furniture.
- Never pick up your furniture from the arms or top. Instead, support the furniture below its center of gravity.
- Never drag your furniture across the floor. Doing so may loosen and separate the joined wood.
Getting the Most Out of Furniture Preservation
If you diligently follow these rules for furniture preservation, you can protect precious heirlooms for your own great-grandchildren to use and enjoy in the future. Just a little forethought and discipline can preserve your furniture for many generations to come.
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