By Clytie Bunyan
If you want to
keep your wood cabinets, countertops and wooden furniture looking like
new, avoid touching them.
oils and acids from the skin particularly from people taking medicine or
prescription drugs can break down the finish on wood.
cabinets and drawers have knobs and handles, said Tom Russell, a
refinisher with Kitchen Tune-Up.
Wood Care) recommend back plates behind the pull on the cabinet so you
won't touch wood but metal," Russell said.
specialty is repairing woodwork to make it look like new instead of
replacing the product.
He cleans the
wood to remove dust, smoke, grease or grime; then uses a sealant that
covers scratch marks or damaged spots. The product is buffed and a
special oil that goes into the grain of the wood is used to get the
The process is less time-consuming and not as noisy as remodeling.
appreciate it because they (don't have their kitchen torn down and have to
listen to scratching or sanding for days at a time," Russell said.
that the appearance of a product after a tune-up depends on the care it
received over time. A homeowner who pays attention to caring for woodwork
around the house, especially those exposed to sunlight or regular human
contact, would have a better looking tune-up than one whose woodwork was
He offered the
following wood-care tips that are easy to accomplish with products
available at local grocery stores.
• Never apply
polish over dirty wood.
• Clean all
food from wood surfaces immediately after spills. Some foods, particularly
those high in acid such as orange juice, coffee, tea or mustard, can
eventually damage wood finish.
• Use mild
soap and water with a clean, lint-free rag to clean spills. Use water
sparingly and towel dry any excess. Water could permanently raise the
grain of the wood if allowed to penetrate the finish.
• Dirt and
dust should be removed from wood regularly, using a soft cloth.
rather than wax wood. Furniture cream polish should be applied monthly
rather than a wax build-up product. Wax attracts dust, dirt and grease
that build up under multiple layers of wax.
• Open your
home often to fresh air. Natural humidity is good for wood. A controlled
environment can dry out wood quickly causing premature cracking and
splitting if not cared for on a regular basis.
• If wood
feels especially dry or rough to touch, apply a deep penetrating oil to
restore moisture and nutrients.
• Use a
ventilating fan, when cooking. It removes the majority of airborne smoke
and grease which otherwise would be absorbed by wood cabinetry.
possible, do not expose wood furniture to direct sunlight. The sun not
only accelerates drying, it also tends to bleach wood. Stain pigments
become discolored, and new pigments are prevented from penetrating the
wood yielding a washed-out effect.
• Cover and
protect nicks, gouges and scratches in the wood with stains or sealants
so that the wood is not exposed.