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Furniture care guide

For wood-based furniture with a selection of finishes

Simple tips for looking after waxed, lacquered, painted, oiled & specialist finishes.

All our fine wooden furniture is made from a mixture of solid wood, wood board, and carefully selected veneers, all from sustainable resources. Often small sections of wood will be laminated (edge, face or finger jointed together) to create the larger sections used in manufacturing and wrapped in a wood veneer. Large solid timber sections are inherently unstable and prone to cracking, shrinkage or warping when subjected to changes in the relative humidity, which is why this process is employed as well as saving our forests.

Wood characteristics

The appeal of solid wood and wood veneer furniture is its uniqueness in terms of natural characteristics, grain patterns, rich colour and that natural warm look. Being a natural material, wood has a life of its own even in the processed state. Temperature and relative humidity changes will cause some minor swelling and shrinking in the wood (across the grain) and sometimes will cause joints to have a slightly raised profile, this is quite normal and may be noticeable to a greater or lesser extent over time depending on the local conditions.

Medullary rays

Generally found in Oak and an inherent part of the natural wood and is not a fault (often mistaken for glue & water stains or lacquer runs).

Wood and veneer grain patterns

Even when cut from the same log, all wood planks and veneers will have differences in colour, grain, and texture, depending on how it is cut and it is this characteristic which makes every piece of wood furniture unique & natural.

Knots & knot filling

Knots which are an integral part of the makeup of a tree and where branches once grew are another natural characteristic of real wood & may form part of the surface appearance. Knots by their nature can show wedge shaped cracks due to shrinkage around the annual rings and cannot be avoided so the use of same colour filler is acceptable.

Wood ageing

Wood will darken (mellow) with exposure to air and UV light & at differing rates so slight differences may be noted where one piece in a set has been replaced at a later date (say 6 months) but will also mellow over time to match. It is important to note that tables with stored extensions may have a colour variance if not given ample exposure to light and individual product components may mellow at different rates, this cannot be avoided as shown below.

Colour variances vs web site images

Due to the nature of solid wood, wood veneers and photographic and printing constraints, the product received may vary slightly to the web site or showroom version, which is unavoidable, but every effort is made to show a representative colour and product characteristic.

Rustic finishes

Concrete effect

Despite its strength and durability, concrete is not immune to small chips and breakages particularly on exposed edges, if impacted with hard objects Concrete is an extremely durable and practical material that is easy to maintain. However, as with any porous stone, the sealant alone cannot fully protect the surface.

Rustic wood finishes

Live edge and solid wood appearances may have cracks and splits which is an intention of the design.

Some Oak range – characteristics

Splits, cracks and vivid colour variations are all part of the characteristics and unique charm of this range and should not be considered as faults.

Filled knots and machine breakout marks are also part of the characteristic of this rustic range.

Wood being hygroscopic will be affected by changes in the relative humidity so some change in the splits and cracks is normal.

Care and maintenance

Understanding the right way to care for furniture from delivery onward is important, so that the best use is gained from it, and its’ beauty maintained. Please find following some handy tips on how to care for different products, and importantly, information on the appearance and nature of the furniture.

Wax finishes

The appearance of waxed finish furniture by nature can have lots of variances, and this is entirely intentional. The wax has been applied over a sealant coat by hand, and the very essence of the appeal is the rustic look this gives. Small defects, inconsistencies, and cracks are deliberately left in the timber before finishing and these are picked out by the wax, and certainly should not be regarded as faults. There will be a natural build-up of wax in corners and sharp angles: this is all part of the intended charm and again this should not be regarded as a fault or defect. Waxed furniture is meant to look “comfortable” and “lived in”, not pristine and artificial. There will be more knots and heavier grains than in plain polished pieces. The big advantage of such a finish is that minor marks picked up in use are less likely to be noticed, and if necessary, can easily be waxed over or polished out in the domestic environment.

Any excess wax can be merely buffed off with a lint free cloth. Over time and use the finish may appear dull and dry but this can be easily remedied by apply another coat of wax readily available from your local hardware store.

Lacquered and painted finishes – other timbers

The Oak for lacquered and painted finish furniture has been selected differently to the rustic (waxed) ranges to give a cleaner more contemporary look. There will still be some knots and Medullary Rays, but overall, the character is very different. On painted furniture expect small cracks in the paint where there are joints: this is caused when the unit flexes and the timbers “breathe” and is quite normal. Most buyers will know that Pine has numerous knots and a wide variety of different grains depending on the cut of the timber used. Expect pine to darken quite dramatically with exposure to light. Being a relatively soft timber, it is more prone to being scratched and dented than hard woods.

Generally lacquered finishes require no maintenance under normal use other than a wipe with a damp cloth. Silicone free polishes can also be used. Painted finishes only require love and care.

Oiled finishes and white oil

Thoroughly clean the surface with a damp cloth and allow to dry, or in the event of light scratches or stubborn deposits, very lightly rub the surface, in the direction of the grain with grade 0000 (4-9) steel wool.

Apply a clear low sheen wax (preferably clear furniture wax to avoid any colour change) using a lint-free cloth and rub it well into the surface by moving the cloth in small circles. Clean the surface in the direction of the grain using a lint free cloth.

This can be repeated as often if necessary.

Concrete effect finishes

Inherent variations in the shading and colour of the concrete finish make each piece truly unique. As with cast concrete the surface cab be vulnerable to sharp impacts, especially on edges and corners.

We recommend the use of warm damp cloth and it is best to avoid cleaning with overly harsh cleaners or with anything abrasive which can dull the surface. We also recommend against any vigorous scrubbing, as to do so could compromise the sealant.

General care

  • Hot objects placed directly on the surface of the product can damage the finish and coasters or table mats should always be used.
  • Generally, our products should not be placed in a conservatory.
  • Dragging items of crockery over an unprotected surface can damage the finish.
  • Placing the product in direct sunlight or very close to a heat source can cause damage.
  • Spillages not wiped up immediately can stain or irreparably damage the finish in particular red wine, curry stains or any liquids or material that contain dyes or acids etc.
  • Table extensions should be left extended periodically to avoid colour variance.
  • Periodically tighten table, chair legs and bed frame bolts and other flat pack type items to avoid damage and on beds the central slat support rail must always be in place.
  • Chemicals and abrasive cleaners should never be used as this can damage the factory applied finish irreparably – Use of a lightly damped cloth is recommended.
  • When applying silicone free polish to a wood surface always be applied along the grain and used sparingly.
  • It is recommended that wardrobes, bed frames and larger tables are dismantled before moving to another room.
  • Ornaments, lamps and coasters should be moved around periodically to avoid shade marks on the surface.
  • Furniture with concrete effect tops have already been pre-sealed in manufacture, but it is important to reseal them once or twice per year, depending on use. To remove leftover particles which can scratch or stain the surface wipe with a damp cloth and a simple mixture of soap and water immediately after use or use a specialised cleaning solution designed for marble but is it critical to never use detergents, abrasive products, acidic chemicals or generic household cleaners to avoid damage to the top. If in doubt consult a good hardware store.
  • Where drawers become slightly tight to open and close simply apply some candle wax to the groove and runners if of wood construction. Silicone spray can also be used on internal components.

Packaging and hardware

Packaging Safety

Packaging should be opened carefully, avoiding where possible the use of open bladed knives which can cause damage to the product if used incorrectly. Please ensure that the packaging is disposed of in a safe environmentally friendly way. CAUTION – There may be small components used in the construction of some units and these loose items should be kept away from young children whilst assembling your unit to avoid the danger of choking hazards.

Certain items are supplied with an anti-tilt bracket which are required to be fitted by the customer and non-use of the brackets can lead to damage and/or injury if improperly fitted – but if in doubt consult a qualified technician.

An added advantage to fitting the anti-tilt brackets is to allow for uneven floors and carpet edge strips to align the taller items such as wardrobes and tall shelf units to a perfectly upright position.


All hardware is clearly marked by an external label on the carton with a ribbon attached leading to the hardware package inside the carton. Ensure this is not thrown away with the discarded packaging.


Handles where not fitted to the front of the door/drawer are generally attached to the inside of the drawer and need to be reversed or provided in the fittings pack. ALWAYS hold the handle still and screw the bolt in rather than twisting the handle onto the bolt to avoid possible damage to the face of the furniture Result of twisting after tightening.

Connecting brackets

Where placing a hutch on top of a sideboard and a wardrobe base to its top etc a bracket is supplied & must be attached to both sections. Failure to do so could lead to damage or injury.

Assembly instructions

Always ensure that you have fully checked that all the parts/hardware as per the assembly instruction parts list are present before attempting to assemble the item. Check the carton contents before discarding it to ensure no items in particular the hardware have become loose in the carton. Follow the assembly instructions carefully as failure to assemble correctly may damage the product.

Common issues

Doors of the sideboard or wardrobe are not aligned – this may be due to an uneven floor so before trying the adjust the hinge, try placing a small wedge under the appropriate foot to re-align the doors. 2p coins are ideal!

Chairs are wobbly – try placing the chairs in different place on the floor to check whether the floor is uneven to determine the root cause before reporting it to your retailer.

Chair floor protectors – Ensure that any floor protectors fitted have no protruding pins that can damage the floor.>

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