All of our Amish crafted furniture is made from kiln dried American hardwoods. The wood is carefully handled and select for grain and suitability.
We expect that the wood used in our Amish furniture should last a lifetime with minimal care.
Wood is a natural product and responds to humidity and temperature thruout its lifetime. Wood will react to extremes in each of these areas. Wood prefers to have a stable temperature and humidity
Keeping Your Furniture Beautiful
Amish made wood furniture can be a significant investment expected to last for generations. To maintain its beauty and help it last, wood furniture needs the right care.
To protect and care for your furniture, we suggest the following:
- Try to maintain a household humidity level around 35-40%. Summer extremes may approach 60% and dry winter air may be in the low 20’s. Seasonal changes from these extremes are NOT good for any of your furniture. Utilize a dehumidifier in the summer and a humidifier in the winter. It is better for your health also.
- Avoid placing your furniture in direct sunlight, as sunlight may cause fading or color changes in some wood species.
- Avoid extreme changes in temperature by keeping furniture away from radiators, and direct air flow from heat and air vents and air conditioning units.
- Avoid placing plastic or rubber materials (lamp bases, notebooks, placemats, etc.) on your furniture, as certain plastics contain ingredients that may damage the finish or trap spilled moisture on the wood.
- In certain species like cherry wood, especially when in a light stain or clear natural finish, sunlight (or other UV light) can cause the wood itself to change colors. For this reason, avoid placing furniture in direct sunlight under windows. Periodically rotate accessories on furniture so they do not sit in the same spot all the time.
- Use decorative runners, pads, cloth or felt to protect the furniture surface from plastic, rubber, hot dishes, beverages, bookends, flowerpots and vases.
- Clean up spills immediately. Use a blotting rather than a wiping action. Water left over a long period of time will cause white spots in the finish. While our Amish finishes are considered very durable, certain solvents, alcohol, perfume, and cleaning products can cause finish damage.
- Always use a protective pad when writing with a ballpoint pen on the furniture surface.
- Lift and place objects rather than dragging them across the furniture surface.
Cleaning and polishing your furniture
We recommend dusting frequently with a clean, soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Clean the surface by rubbing in the direction of the grain. We recommend polishing your furniture approximately every six months, using a clean, soft, lint-free cloth and rubbing the polish in the direction of the grain.
Some of our Amish made furniture features a high-gloss finish. Certain woods that have fine grain patterns like cherry and maple present a smooth surface and will show minor scratches more easily than more open pored woods like oak and hickory. These items require some extra care to prevent dust and smudges from being overly apparent. Be especially careful to avoid scratching high gloss finishes by using a feather duster or very soft, clean cloths and wiping with minimal pressure.
What are the main types of furniture care products, and which one do you recommend?
There are three basic types of furniture care products: silicone cleaners, waxes and polishes. We recommend avoiding silicone cleaners and waxes. While silicone cleaners create a high degree of shine, silicone seeps into even the highest-quality finishes, creating a barrier that will not accept stain or lacquer. This makes it virtually impossible to re-finish or touch-up your furniture.
Waxes should be avoided because their regular use may result in a build-up of wax film on the surface of the furniture. This build-up could actually attract dirt, smoke and other pollutants in the air, resulting in smudges and streaks. Also, many waxes may capture and contain grit that can permanently damage furniture surfaces if used improperly.
Polishes, or furniture oil, which we recommend, may contain detergents, emulsifiers and mineral oil. The detergents clean dirt from the furniture, the emulsifiers give it body to clean and last longer and the mineral oil is left behind as a barrier for dirt and moisture transfer that could harm the wood. There’s no grit to harm the finish, no wax to build up and no silicone to raise the sheen and act as a barrier for touch-up and refinishing.
A quality furniture oil, especially those with citrus oils, helps to reduce the moisture transfer in and out of the wood as the seasons change from the more humid summer air to the dry air of a heated winter home. And, like your skin, your furniture can benefit from a “moisturizer” treatment of a quality furniture oil or polish.
We also recommend you do not overlook applying a light coat of polish or oil to the hidden surfaces of your furniture. The underside of your table and below the chair seats and the inside sidewalls of your hutches and sideboards are all wood also and can use a bit of oil once a year.