“Regular polishing will protect and highlight timber’s natural beauty.”
long. Avoid using acidic liquids such as lemon and pineapple juice, nail polish and methylated spirits on timber surfaces. Wipe up spills and clean marks as soon as possible with a damp cloth wrung out in cool to warm soapy water, and dry with a soft cloth to remove moisture. Regular polishing will protect and highlight timber’s natural beauty and character – and there are many environmentally responsible products available. Make sure you follow the grain of the wood when wiping the surface.
Timber is a natural product and will expand and contract with temperature, so try not to place furniture in direct sunlight or in front of hot westerly facing windows, and avoid locations near fireplaces and air-conditioning.
3 SCRATCHES AND MARKS
No matter how careful you are, scratches are inevitable on floorboards or furniture surfaces, as these are places where things are dropped, dragged and placed daily. To remove
light scratches, polish the surface with a cotton, wool or microfibre cloth. For slightly deeper scratches, use a
touch-up pen available in a wide range of timber tones from hardware stores. These wax-based products fill the surface scratch with a colour-matched product to disguise the scratch. Or a quick and cost-effective solution is to use children’s wax crayons, matching the colour to the tone of the timber.
But before you tackle the space in the middle of the room, remember to test a small inconspicuous area first!
For deeper scratches it’s best to talk to an expert either in the hardware store or, if the item is of a certain value, to a specialist French polisher. Repairing the damage will usually involve sanding back the marks and applying new finishes or stains. Depending on how handy you are, this may be something you decide to take on. The best advice is to always test small “out of the way” areas to make sure you can match the rest of the furniture piece or flooring in colour and gloss level. The devil is in the detail, so research and preparation is key to ensure you get a great result.
EARTH-FRIENDLY Eco Clean floor cleaner, $6.60, from White Magic.
BEESWAX BLEND Town Talk Polish Co Ltd furniture wax, $29.95, from Alfresco Emporium.
On the outside
To prevent problems from moisture absorption, seal exterior timber doors –including edges – before installation.
LOVELY LAVENDER Wood polishing wax, $14.95, from Buckley & Phillips Aromatics.