Maintenance and Care of Fine Woodwork


Maintenance and Care of Fine Woodwork

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How to Care For and Maintain Fine Woodwork?

Architectural woodwork should be treated like fine furniture, particularly that which is constructed of wood finished with a transparent finish system.

Fine architectural work is finished with a commercial finish which is durable and resistant to moisture.  Allowing moisture to accumulate on, or stay in contact with, any wood surface, no matter how well finished, will cause damage.  Prevent direct contact with moisture, and wipe dry immediately should any occur.

With the exception of true oil-rubbed surfaces, modern finishes do not need to be polished, oiled or waxed.  In fact, applying some polishing oils, cleaning waxes, or products containing silicone may impede the effectiveness of touch-up or refinishing procedures in the future.

No abrasives or chemical or ammonia cleaners should be used to clean fine woodwork surfaces.

Routine cleaning is best accomplished with a soft, lint-free cloth lightly dampened with water or an inert household dust attractant.  Allowing airborne dust, which is somewhat abrasive, to build up will tend to dull a finish over time. Remove oil or grease deposits with a mild flax soap, following the directions for dilution on the container.

Avoid excessive or repetitive impact, however lightly applied.  The cellular structure of the wood will compact under pressure.  Many modern finishes are flexible, and will show evidence of impact and pressure applied to them.

Avoid localized high heat, such as a hot pan or plate, or a hot light source, close to or in contact with the finished surface.  Exposure to direct sunlight will alter the appearance of fine woodwork over time.

Maintain the relative humidity around the woodwork every hour of every day, to minimize wood movement.

Use the trims, cabinets and fixtures, paneling, shelving, ornamental work, stairs, frames, windows, and doors as they were intended.  Abuse of cabinet doors and drawers, for example, may result in damage to them as well as to the cabinet parts to which they are joined.