How to Take Care of your Furniture
Lacquered finish opposed to a waxed finish: what are the real pros and cons?
Lacquered Finished Wood
For a lacquered finish the colour is applied and a polyurethane top coat is also applied on top giving a glossy or a semi matt finish. Generally it is a glossy finish, however it does depend on the colour chosen to whether the finished piece is very shiny or not. The polyurethane top coat gives a hard protection to the furniture and seals the wood, the wood can still breathe as it is only the outer facing wood which is coated. Lacquered wood protects the wood from liquid penetration, hot cups, crayons, although it is still advisable to use mats where possible and clean up spills as soon as they happen. Constant water will wear down the lacquer, becoming dull and having a mottled appearance.
Lacquered wood can be wiped down with a damp cloth if it gets dirty but it is advisably to dry off the wood after. It can be dusted with a soft cloth and polished with an everyday spray polish. Other polishes or waxes can be used but generally it will not offer any more protection than a general spray polish.
Waxed Finished Wood
Waxed wood needs periodical waxing depending on what wear and tear it receives, a chest of drawers would probably benefit from a monthly wax, whilst a table would benefit twice a month. This is not as labour intensive as it sounds, only the top need be done with a clear wax and following the instructions on the tin. If a coloured wax is applied the furniture colour will subtly change over time. Six to twelve month intervals it is wise to wax the whole piece. The wax soaks into to the wood keeping the wood hydrated and keeps the colour sharp, if rewaxing was not adhered to the piece would fade and possibly start to split in places.
As wax furniture does absorb dust particles and grease from finger tips and such like, a top tip is to wipe waxed furniture over with baby wipes as they hold just the right amount of moisture.
Waxed furniture is easily restored if damaged has occurred to the finish. There are several products on the market to remove rings and marks. They will probably not remove these marks completely but they do a pretty good job. You can solely work on the damaged area and not bother too much with the rest. You can also rub waxed furniture down with either a very fine grade wire wool or sandpaper, working with the grain and once satisfied that the mark is removed re wax with a colour close or an exact match to the original piece.
Wooden furniture is a living piece so be careful where you place it, not to close to heat sources and away from sun light exposure. Also the temperature needs to be controlled as the furniture will expand and contract in extreme temperatures. If you follow these guidelines your piece of pine furniture will last a lifetime.