Wood Care

Amish Furniture Wood Care

The Illinois Amish market crafts all of their furniture out of solid hard woods such as Oak, Cherry, Hickory, Brown Maple, Hard Maple, and Walnut.   Using solid hard woods helps create a piece that will withstand the abuses of everyday life and provide a beautiful and function piece of furniture that will last generations.  While solid woods provide a beauty and durability that will last a lifetime there are tips and tricks to help keep your piece looking beautiful.

  • Place your solid wood furniture away from direct heating sources such as heating ducts, fireplace fans, and radiators to prevent drying.
  • While your furniture topcoat is highly resistant we advice keeping solvents off of the piece such as alcohol or finger nail polish remover.
  • Try to keep control over the humidity in the area where your furniture is located.  Amish crafted furniture does best in a environment with 35-45% humidity.  If your house is dry in the winter we recommend a humidifier to keep the humidity up. If your house is located in a humid region we recommend a dehumidifier.
  • Solid wood can handle direct sunlight but we recommend trying to keep your piece of solid wood Amish furniture out of hour upon hour of direct sunlight.  Adjust shades if needed.
  • Use placemats and coasters if using plateware or glasses with abrasive bases. 
  • Keep table leaves and other removable solid wood items in a location close to the main piece of furniture to limit humidity changes.  Do not store leaves in locations where excessive drying or excessive dampness can cause swelling or shrinkage.  Keeping leaves nearby the Amish table will also help you remember to oil the leaves when you oil the table.

Amish Furniture Cleaning Instructions

  • Use a soft cloth when dusting your piece of Amish crafted furniture and follow the grain pattern in the wood.  We recommend using a cust up piece of cotton t-shirt or a piece of laundered cheesecloth.
  • Use a non-alkiline soap and water to remove spills.  Be sure to dry immediately with a soft cloth and buff lightly with the grain of the wood.
  • Dust your piece of Amish furniture often to prevent abrasive particles from building up on your furniture.
  • We encourage NOT using any cleaners with silicone, wax or parrifin.  They will build up over time and dull the finish of your piece of Amish furniture.  Catalyzed finishes do not require extra polishing but if you choose to us a polish we use Milsek Furniture Polish here at the Illinois Amish Market.

Amish Furniture First Aid

Water Ring and Water Marks - Catalyzed finishes are highly resistant to water marks and rings.  Usually if one occurs it is in the wax on the furniture and not actually on the finish.  Cover the water mark with a clean thick blotter and press down with a warm iron and then repeat.  Also you can try rubbing the water mark with salad oil or white toothpaste then wipe dry.

Spilled Milk or Alcohol - Use a paste of boiled linseed oil and rottenstone and rub with the grab with standard finishes.  You can also rub the spill with ammonia on a dampened cloth then be sure to wipe dry.

Match or Cigarette Burns - Small or minor burns can be removed be using a scratch-concealing polish or use the paste you made from the above remedy.  If the burn has gone completely through the finish then sometimes a refinishing will be required.

Everyday Heat Marks -  While a catalyzed finish is heat resistant we still recommend hot pads placed under hot dishes and do not remove pans directly from a stove or oven and place directly on your piece of Amish furniture.  If a burn mark does occur use a super fine (0000) piece of steel wool and rub lightly with the grain.

Spilled or Dripped Paint - If you catch the spill immediately when wipe the paint off with water if latex and mineral spirits if is a oil based paint.  If the spill happened long enough ago that the paint has dried then soak the paint with a piece of cloth dipped in boiled linseed oil then wipe clean.  Be sure to wipe the area dry immediately after.

Sticky Spots from Tape - Use a piece of cloth or extra fine (0000) steel wool wipped in mineral spirits or salad oil and wipe with the grain of the wood.  Be sure to wipe dry immediately.