How to Maintain Oak Furniture

Last Updated on June 19, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

Oak wood has been a popular material for making furniture for centuries due to its strength, durability and beauty. Its prominent grain with tiny spots and which dings blend in make it the best choice for constructing beautiful pieces of furniture. But, oak can get stains easily because of its porous nature, especially if it doesn’t have a modern finish like a glossy varnish.

Oakwood can also get dry and become cracked if it is not properly moisturized. Oak furniture requires maintenance, and to perform it perfectly; you’ll need to protect it from extreme temperature swings, heat, moisture, and sun.

This oak furniture blog will guide you properly about how you can maintain your oak furniture and make it live longer. If you’re oak furniture is in your house or planning to buy it, follow the steps mentioned in this article, and you will see a glow on your oak furniture.

Related: Maple vs. Oak Flooring: Choosing Between Affordable Hardwood Floors

1. Read the Maintenance Instructions

When you buy oak furniture, first of all, read the maintenance instructions. As your bought wood furniture has probably been treated differently, it’s is very important for you to read the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions if you want your furniture to live longer. When you purchase your oak furniture, ask your retailer for a pamphlet with care instructions.

If there is no pamphlet or special instructions with the furniture and your furniture has a light clear finish, follow general wood care recommendations.

2. Air out new furniture

oak furniture

Your new oak furniture might have a strong odor if it has been recently oiled, especially on interior and back surfaces in order to minimize that odor, open the drawers and doors will help to dissipate the smell.

Moreover, you can run an air purifier or keep the windows open. Before the packing and shipping process, the furniture is oiled that leaves the smell. Place a bowl with baking soda, white vinegar, and activated charcoal to absorb odors near your furniture if the smell is strong and not enough to tolerate.

You’ll need to sand the surface lightly if you’re working with untreated oak furniture. Sanding it will smooth the surface of the oak, ensuring that the stain goes on evenly.

Before staining, wipe off all sawdust or use a vacuum. Next, apply the wood stain using a brush or a cloth dipped in the stain of multiple types. If you want a darker oak wood stain, let the stain rest before applying another coat.

Types of Stains:

  • Water-based: Easy on the environment and easier to clean up
  • One-step stain and finish: It’s a combo of stain and finishes.

Related: How Many Coats Of Primer Do I Need?

3. Consider stripping the wood.

You may want to strip the wood if your oak furniture has severe staining or you are planning to change the look of the furniture. Before you remove the protective coverings from the wood, determine what type of coverings the wood has on.

For instance, you’ll need to apply varnish stripper if the furniture is covered in varnish according to the manufacturer’s directions. You can then re-varnish it or stain the furniture.

Before applying the stripper to the whole piece, test it in a small inconspicuous spot. While using, please make sure to wear gloves and old clothing when refinishing the oak furniture.

4. Seal oak furniture

If the surface of oak wood is not sealed, then it’s likely to absorb the dirt. Think about applying a finish once you’ve applied the stain. For a beautiful finish, you can use strong polyurethane or a penetrating oil finish.

For polyurethane:

Sand the surface multiple times while applying and apply several thin coats

For penetrating oil finish:

Apply the penetrating oil finish and let the finish soak in before wiping it off with a soft cloth.

A wide range of penetrating-oil finishes like Tung oil, Danish oil and Antique oil are available. Whenever the oak wood feels dry or looks dull, these finishes are reapplied periodically.

5. Clean the oak

You can wipe down the oak with a clean damp cloth if the wood has been sealed and finished. Next, take a soft dry cloth and buff out any moisture.

Clean the wood using gentle wood oil if the wood hasn’t been sealed. After cleaning, apply a moisturizing polish. Always use soft cotton cloths to protect the wood and wear gloves while working.

Avoid cleaning the oak furniture with common household cleaners, even if they’re wood cleaners. For instance, a layer of oil is left behind by many household cleaners that will build up, or your furniture might get stripped over time due to the usage of cleaners.

6. Moisturize your furniture

Moisturize the wood with furniture oil, wax, or polish to maintain your furniture’s shine and repel water. It is recommended to moisturize oak wood furniture at least once a month to prevent cracking, or if the furniture gets daily wear and tear, you should moisturize it more frequently. Also you want to oil a new or used dry piece of oak furniture.

Now you’ve found out how to maintain your oak furniture. There are more excellent articles on the oak furniture blog.