Timber is an amazing product and a brilliant option for your venue. It looks great, feels great and wears well. Some venue owners are hesitant to use timber in their venue as they fear that it is difficult to maintain. Whilst timber isn’t maintenance-free, its not difficult to maintain if a good maintenance program is established and followed through.
Before talking about care and maintenance, you need to keep in mind that timber is a natural product and is always alive and moving. Therefore knots, splits and cracks are all a part of the natural beauty and charm of timber products. These can be sealed with coloured compounds and sealed to blend in as much as possible – but it is more than likely that they will appear in your timber products.
Timber maintenance program
“If the idea of maintaining timber is the only factor deterring a clients decision making, I often advise that it is not as difficult as most assume with the benefits of a natural product really outweighing the rest. The trick to keeping your timber products in great condition is to use the right products when cleaning and simply giving your furniture an oil as required. By adding these minor steps, your timber furniture will not only stand the test of time but also transform any space – evoking a sense of charm and organic warmth.” – TK Nguyen, Hospitality Furniture Consultant at Adage Furniture.
With a great maintenance program, your timber products will continue to look brand-new. Cleaning and oiling the timber regularly will ensure that it is kept in great condition. We understand the new regulations surrounding cleaning due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic; however, it is important to make sure that your cleaning products ARE NOT alcohol-based or harsh disinfectants. This affects the polyurethane coating and can cause the product surface to become soft and mark/rub easily.
To comply with COVID-19 guidelines, we recommend using the following products to clean and maintain your timber products:
ENVIROPLUS E-GUARD X: This is a chemical free, natural anti-bacterial hard surface cleaner, available from ABCO Products. Lightly spray the surface of your furniture with diluted mix and wipe off with a soft, dry cloth.
METHOD WOOD FOR GOOD ‘Daily Wood Cleaner’: This is available at Big W and is a great way to keep the shine of your timber furniture. Spray down the surface with a light cover and wipe off with a soft, dry cloth.
Another fantastic product recommendation is Mastertouch, which is magic in restoring furniture that has been scratched or dented.
If any cracks do appear in your timber product, a handy trick to have up your sleeve is to fill any cracks with a putty or wax crayon of the same colour. Many scratches on chairs and stools can easily be made to look good with the use of a wax crayon or timber dye.
Don’t use your timber products outside
Firstly, our biggest recommendation for timber products is that they aren’t used outside. Most timbers don’t cope with the constant change in the Australian climate. With the rising and falling temperatures, timber expands and contracts throughout the seasons and this can mean that cracks are formed in the timber.
However, bear in mind that timber is always alive and therefore it is inevitable that small cracks will form – this is all part of its rustic charm!
However, you may find some timbers that are marketed as ok for use in outdoor settings or alfresco settings. These will be slatted timbers, not solid. The slats allow the timber to move, without creating pressure and causing cracks. Rather than clear-coated, outdoor timber products will be oiled.
Caring for outdoor timber products
Due to your outdoor timber products being oiled, rather than coated with a clear coating, you will need to maintain a regular oiling schedule. This should be done regularly, as needed.
Our recommendation for the oil to use is the Feast Watson Natural Furniture Oil and we’ve found the best application is rubbing it over your products with a rag.
About the Author
With a solid 7 years of combined experience, TK Nguyen is a seasoned professional in interior design, specialising in hospitality spaces. As an integral member of our team, TK utilises her knowledge, creativity, and keen understanding of industry trends in each project.