Welcome back to the Roughing It In Style blog! Whether you’ve bought reclaimed barnwood furniture from us and you want to know how to clean it or you’re simply researching rustic barnwood before purchasing, we’re glad you’re here. In today’s blog we’re going to discuss the best cleaning practices for your reclaimed wood so you can be sure you have the look you want for years to come.
We have more information about what reclaimed wood is, but we’ll discuss it a little here. One of our favorite things about barnwood furniture is its sustainability. It’s not wood that came directly from a forest, so you’re helping the planet. It’s also known for its strength and the beautiful character and rustic feel it gives to a space. We believe there’s a certain enviable atmosphere you can only accomplish by using reclaimed wood — but you need to make sure you’re taking care of it and maintaining its beauty. Your barnwood dining room table or your reclaimed barnwood shelves may just be a family heirloom one day if you give them the right amount of attention and love.
Check The Finish
Whether it’s your shelves, table, or reclaimed barnwood kitchen cabinets, you’ll want to know that the wood is properly finished. Ensuring it has been treated will help protect the piece and make cleaning easier. A barnwood dining room tables is especially important to check on because of all the potential spills, cups, and hot plates that could be on its surface.
Also be aware of what is or isn’t necessary because of the finish. For example, shellac varnishes do not protect very well against spills, so watermarks would need to be wiped up immediately and coasters would be a must if your furniture has this finish.
Get Wood Cleaner
There are obviously a lot of wood cleaners on the market, so you’ll need to do your research before committing to one. A mixture of olive oil, white vinegar, and water works great for cleaning reclaimed wood that hasn’t been treated. If the wood has been treated, however, simply use a gentle soap and cleaning rag. If there are tricky areas that have crumbs or other buildup stuck in them, you can use a soft brush. Many companies also make soaps specifically for cleaning wood. Dilute it with some water and wash away!
Speaking of those crumbs and spills, you don’t want to let them hang out on the that wood farmhouse table for long. Clean the liquid spills and remove crumbs as soon as you notice them. Oils from the food or liquids can all stain the table and sink in deep, making it much harder to clean in the future.
Beware Of Watermarks
So you’re wiping up every time someone spills, but what about those pesky rings that keep showing up on your table, coffee table, or even your entertainment center? There are a few ways to clean them, including baking soda, salt, water, or even non-gel toothpaste. But keep coasters handy and try your best to get people to use them! There’s nothing quite like finding a watermark on your favorite piece of reclaimed barnwood furniture after your guest has left and realizing you didn’t even have a coaster around as an option for him or her. Be equally aware and proactive with hot plates and dishes so you don’t get stains on the wood. Use a trivet or hot pad underneath!
Watch Out For Heat
Avoid having your reclaimed wood furniture in direct sunlight. It’ll be fine, but direct sunlight over time can greatly change the color of the wood. Removing the furniture either entirely or partially from sunlight will help prevent warping and discoloration, along with other potential effects. If it is in direct sunlight, consider drawing the curtains during especially sunny or hot times of day to try and give your wood a breather.
You’ll also want to be careful with heating vents or fireplaces. Again, the wood will be fine. But if it receives a lot of heat from a nearby source, the wood can dry out more quickly. During colder months when you’re using heating and fireplaces more often, place a humidifier nearby or even just a cup of water (on a coaster, of course!) in your reclaimed wood kitchen cabinets. This will help moisture to go back into the wood.
Rustic barnwood furniture and kitchen cabinets are an investment. They’ll bring so much beauty and character to your home, but you won’t enjoy them as much if there are water rings or other preventable marks on the furniture. Reclaimed wood will have its own quirks, patterns, and distinct differences, but stains don’t belong. Keep it clean, healthy, and well maintained with our tips here! And when you’re ready to purchase more, we have plenty of options you’ll love. Our rustic barnwood furniture has thrilled residents throughout the Northern Colorado and Wyoming areas — will you be next?