Mythbusting & Maintaining Wood Finish Services

Maintaining a wood finish requires understanding its chemistry and providing climate quality. Unfortunately, misinformation has prevailed over product performance test results, and the consumer is left vulnerable to the instant remedy sales pitch.

What are wood finishes?
Wood finishes are plastic film coatings that stabilize, protect, and decorate wood. When applied correctly and properly maintained, quality cabinet finishes last a long time.

Furniture polishes and oils are lucrative inventions of the furniture industry. Some products do not perform well. Marketed to perform like moisturizing handcreams, scented oils do not penetrate finish film, but sit on top of it, leaving a grimy film when they evaporate. Over time, oils will soften a finish into a permanent sticky state. Unscented oil finishes applied to bare wood create a temporary moisture barrier. Oiled cabinets are easy to maintain, but provide minimal protection from mild chemical damage. When wood fiber damage occurs, discolorations may not be removable.

New finishes
New finishes need to be cleaned, not polished. Use antibacterial surfectants – for areas exposed to food, bacteria, mold, chemicals, and fatty acids (from sweat and cooking). Surfectants are chemical liquids that separate contaminants from plastic finish film surfaces without causing damage. Popular oil soap cleaners can discolor unprotected wood. It is suspected that soap lye turns exposed wood gray, then permanently black.

Older finishes
For older finishes, use milky white furniture polishes – for cleaning both solvent and water soluble dirt. Pledge is a safe cleaner and a spraywax, and Preen on floors is slip resistant. For tougher protection, use carnauba paste waxes – applied periodically on high traffic furniture surfaces. Carnauba is a hard wax cut with paraffin and mineral spirits to provide a thin, washable, protective coating over plastic film finishes.

Causes of early finish film failure and how you can prevent it!

1)  Insufficient film thickness (not enough coats). We apply recommended maximum film thickness coatings and round edges to provide the best possible protection.

2)  Unequal moisture content in the home environment will cause wood movement. Climate control systems that supply air conditioning and humidification with heat will equalize moisture content and stabilize wood movement (expansion and contraction) over time. Dry heat will cause compression joint shrinkage, resulting in finish separation and warping. Durable finishes stabilize wood by slowing moisture exchange, not eliminating it.

Check with us before you buy. If you would like to learn about our finish film coatings and products or have a question about causes and prevention of finish failure, give us a call at the shop: 781-878-5795, and ask for Tom. Or just shoot us an e-mail at tbelyea@comcast.net.


One Response to “Mythbusting & Maintaining Wood Finish Services”

  1. admin says:

    ya it is right

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