Caring for Oak

Oak has always been a popular material for building furniture due to its strength and beauty.  It has a lovely grain, often meaning that scratches and spots can simply blend in.  But, seeing as oak is porous, it stains very easily adn without a glossy varnish as modern furniture often has, the staining can be very fast!  If not cared for properly, your oak furniture may dry out and crack.  The best ways to care for your oak furniture are to keep it out of the sun and other heated areas – it is very sensitive to temperature changes!

If your furniture has care directions, always follow them!  Modern woods can be treated differently, so it is important to follow the manufacturers guidelines.  If your furniture doesn’t have any directions or just has a light, clear finish, read on to see how to look after it.

  • Air out new furniture.  Leave drawers open to allow the odor from any oiling to dissipate.  You can keep the windows open if it is strong!
  • Sand and stain: untreated oak can be lightly sanded and stained with an oil or water based stain.  The stain leaves a lovely colour and finish.
  • Strip the wood: if the oak has bad staining on it or you’d like to change the look of it, you can always strip the wood.  Use varnish stripper to remove the varnish.
  • Seal oak: Oak which is not sealed can absorb dirt easily.  Apply a finish after staining.
  • Use quality wood furniture cleaner, not normal household cleaners.
  • Moisture: maintain shine and repeal water with furniture oil or wax.
  • Keep out of the sun and direct heat!
  • Clean up any spills quickly so as not to penetrate the wood!