Wood Care

Part of the appeal of wood furniture is that is a natural product and no two pieces are the same. You can expect to find natural marks, knots and dark lines in the grain on various surfaces and differences can be found in texture and colour within the same piece of wood. These markings reflect a natural wood product, helping to identify that real wood has been used and are more visible in woods that are lighter such as oak, teak and maple. These are all characteristics you should expect from a natural material and are not faults. Below is a summary of some of the natural characteristics and maintenance for wood furniture.


To clean wood surfaces it is best wipe with a slightly damp soft cloth. To help remove grease marks you could add a few drops of vinegar to the cloth. Always clean up any spillages and never soak a surface or leave it overly wet, this can be very harmful to wood surfaces. Try to avoid using aerosol type polishes as these can have an adverse effect on the finish. Take care not to place hot items on top of a wooden surface as this would be damaging regardless of the type of finish used. Coasters or mats should be used to help prevent unwanted marking in the wood or damages through heat displacement or spillages.

Furniture wax used annually to polish your furniture will help to maintain its appearance and provide some protection. Wood furniture with an oil finish requires more attention, more so if used frequently. Use a light coat of linseed oil (a protect readily available from most shops) to help keep surfaces in prime condition. This will also help prevent absorption of liquids into the surface and avoid staining. Please refer to the Oiling section in this guide for more information. 

The technique normally employed when finishing wooden furniture is a traditional method involving wax and a very fine wire wool, which leaves minute, hardly noticeable scratches in the finish (typically running in the direction of the grain). These are usually noticeable under certain light conditions.

Feathering of Veneers
Veneers share a similar characteristic as solid woods in that they will move slightly over time. This will result in a feathering of the surface wax or lacquer and is a normal, natural occurrence that adds to the character of the natural look of your wooden furniture.



As wood is a natural product, it breathes in different temperatures and as it breathes some movement can occur in your furniture. This is perfectly normal and can happen early into the life of your furniture, which will be designed to allow for this. When breathing occurs, a line may appear where two surfaces have moved but this can be stained to match with the original colour of the wood.

Some movement can occur in the drawer runners making them more difficult to open and close - this can be rectified with a simple adjustment. In sun rooms, conservatories or other areas around the home where temperatures can be extreme, solid woods can move in this way. Pressures hidden within the grain of any piece of wood can cause it to twist or ‘warp.’ This is more commonly found in longer pieces of wood such as wardrobes doors) and this often becomes more apparent after changes in temperature and humidity. It is something that should be considered when purchasing a piece of furniture for these areas of the home. 

Medullary Rays

These are a natural characteristic of the timber making each piece unique. Medullary rays are formed in the growth of the tree and manifest as light streaking in the wood, which is a perfectly normal characteristic.

Antique and Distressed Finishes 
Distressed or antique finishes are a design feature that deliberately added to bring character to each piece.

Oiled Furniture
Please oil your wood furniture regularly to avoid it drying out as this will ultimately affect it’s every day wear. As a guide, it is recommended that in the first 3 months you apply a thin coat of oil with a lint free cloth once a month. Further applications of oil every 6 months will help maintain the oil finish on your furniture. When new, furniture can require light oiling approximately every 4-6 weeks if you see signs of drying out. Please be aware that early in its life, wood is more porous and can absorb spills and stains. Exercise care and clean all spills and stains up immediately. Do not use strong cleaning detergents as this can potentially affect the finish.

Shading & Mellowing
Shading or mellowing is a normal part of the ageing process of new pieces of furniture. This shading manifests when wood is exposed to daylight and will be more evident in furniture like extending dining tables where the normal table surface is exposed to sunlight but hidden or stored away extension leaves are not (therefore, the leaf will not change shade at the same rate as the table). If the leaves are given exposure to natural daylight it will begin to shade to the same degree as the table. This process of shading and mellowing is applicable for all pieces of wood furniture.

Care kits, waxes and oils are available to purchase from Belgcia.