September 18, 2020 7 min read

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

Do you own a wood dining set? Are you considering purchasing one, but feeling a bit intimidated by the prospect of maintaining one? Solid wood is much different from wood veneer furniture, and the task of cleaning and preserving wood might seem a bit daunting to a novice.

But, don't let your fear of the unknown discourage you from investing in a better quality wood table and chairs. Furniture Fair has sold solid wood and wood veneer furniture products in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, for decades, and we are experts in wood finish cleaning and maintenance. We know how to keep your dining set looking like new.

Read on for an in-depth look at methods you can use to keep your dining set looking as good as the day you bring it home. This article will cover cleaning habits and ways to prevent your dining table from wear and damage.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set
How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

5 Daily Habits That Will Keep Your Dining Table Clean

Maintaining your table doesn't need to be an arduous task. You might be worried about a solid wood table being too complicated for you to keep up with. If this is a worry that you have then set your mind at ease.

Here are five easy habits you can pick up that will keep your table looking great for much longer. These tips are also great for maintaining a wood veneer dining set.  

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

1. Use Coasters & Heat Pads

That tasty drink might be refreshing and delicious for you or your guests, but the glass's condensation is a significant cause of moisture damage to wood finishes.

If you've ever seen old tables with various white rings in the finish, that's due to the previous owner neglecting to keep condensation away from the table finish. Thankfully there's a way to avoid this!

Enter the coaster—friend of the table, enemy of water condensation, protector from liquid-based damages!Coasters will prevent that water from reaching your table and damaging the finish. Use coasters to keep your table looking new and damage-free.

Hot items also pose the risk of damaging your table finish. A good rule of thumb is, “If it’s too hot to hold, it’s too hot to place on your table.” Placing a hot object on your wood table will damage the varnish and lead to a heat stain.

Thankfully heating pads, or potholders, are an easy solution to heating issues. Use heating pads to absorb the heat from your hot object on the table. This will allow you to place bakeware, pots, pans, and other hot objects on the table with lower risk of damage.

Use caution when buying a heating pad as not all products are as good at diffusing heat. Make sure you test your heating pads before using them on your table to make sure they diffuse heat properly. The last thing you want is to load up the table for family dinner and accidentally leave various pot shaped heat damage marks.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set
How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

2. Use Placemats

We all remember those placemats that our parents made us use when eating lunch or dinner. It turns out that placemats are more than just an opportunity to learn geography or memorize US presidents while accidentally giving them spaghetti sauce hairdos.

Placemats are a great way to keep your table's surface free from stains that can damage the finish. Use them during meals to keep food from hitting your table. Opt for organic materials when choosing a placemat, as plastics can transfer colors to the table finish over time.

Placemats are also a great way to enhance your interior design and finish out a dining room. Matching placemats can tie a room theme together, making them functional and practical accessories for your dining room.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

3. Use Tablecloths

If you are hosting a large gathering or an extended family dinner, consider using a tablecloth. While you might be tempted to let the solid wood tabletop take center stage, large groups make for a significant spill risk. Avoid the worry of food-related stains by using a tablecloth.

A tablecloth will take the brunt of the damage that any foods, sauces, drinks, or desserts might cause, giving an extra layer between the food and the table finish. Tablecloths also help set the mood for whatever gathering you are hosting; thus, they serve a dual function.

Remember to remove, change, or wash your tablecloth regularly. Tablecloths are not meant to be used on solid wood tables all the time, and if you don't clean your table, you risk having sticky buildup between the tablecloth and your lovely wood table.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set
How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

4. Wipe Down After Meals

If you enjoy a clean house, chances are you already do this, but wiping down your table after meals is an excellent daily task for ensuring that your table lasts longer. Food particles, dust, and liquids can build up if you don't regularly wipe down your table.

Use a warm damp microfiber cloth with a little bit of mild dish soap to wipe down your table and remove unwanted residue from meals or activities. Wiping down your table on a day-to-day basis will help keep your table germ free and preserve the finish for much longer.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

5. Dust Regularly

Dusting is one of those chores that often gets overlooked until the dust is visible and too much to ignore. However, a regular dusting of solid wood furniture will help preserve the finish and ensure that your table stays looking new.

Regular dusting will help prevent buildup that can eventually damage the finish of your dining set. Too much dust will make your table start to feel soft, dirty, and almost goo-like. Thankfully regular cleaning and dusting will keep this from happening.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set
How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

5 Ways to Prevent Damage to Your Dining Table

Now that we've looked at ways to keep your dining set clean let's look at how you can prevent your dining set's damage. Preventative measures can go a long way toward making your dining table and chairs last longer.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

1. Avoid Direct Sunlight

Ultraviolet light from the sun can cause chemical changes in the wood, such as discoloration and fading. You shouldn't have to worry about this as long as your windows have curtains or your table is out of direct sunlight.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set
How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

2. Keep Away From Direct Heat

Radiating heat can dry out wood products. When dry, wood can warp and crack, which can ruin the integrity of your dining set. If your house has radiators, vents, or a fireplace, try to keep your table away from direct exposure to them.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

3. Keep Humidity Levels Consistent

Solid wood behaves differently than wood veneer products. Solid wood acts similarly to the tree that it was once part of.Wood naturally "breathes" or expands and contracts with the changing humidity.

If you live in a region with temperatures that vary significantly by season, your best defense against this is a climate-controlled environment.

Try to keep your humidity levels between 40 and 45% to prevent warping and cracking. The easiest way to do this is to keep your home temperature consistent throughout the seasons, using heat in the winter and AC in the summer.

If your table has a leaf extender that you only need to use when entertaining guests, be sure to store it in a place that has similar humidity levels as your dining room, or the wood may expand or warp and not fit when you need to use it.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

4. Polish Your Table Twice A Year

Surprisingly, a little polish will make your table look almost as good as the day you got it. After cleaning your table and ensuring that it is dry, apply furniture polish. We recommend Guardsman Anytime Clean & Polish. Your solid wood table will be looking like new in no time!

An important thing to keep in mind is not to use any waxes or polishes that contain silicone. Solid wood tables do not need this type of wax.

Be sure to use lint-free cloths, so no cloth residue messes up the process. Apply polish and buff with a microfiber cloth. This process is a bit time-consuming and challenging work, but thankfully you will only need to perform this task two times per year.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

5. Fill In Any Nicks or Scratches

Marks and dings are a part of daily life with wood furniture, and with a solid wood dining set, you can expect to collect a few nicks and scratches over the course of the table's life. Thankfully there are easy ways to repair and cover up small marks.

Masking small scratches is easy and can be done in several ways. If the scrape is shallow enough, you can use a marker, crayon, shoe polish, or even coffee grounds to conceal the marks. Make sure you use a matching color and apply it in the direction of the scratch.

How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set
How To Maintain a Solid Wood Dining Set

Don't Let Fear of Maintenance Keep You From Owning a Wood Dining Set!

Owning a solid wood dining set might seem intimidating to maintain, but if you follow the simple steps that we've outlined, your solid wood dining set will last for a long time and provide you with countless memories.

If you own a wooden veneer dining set, these tips are also great for making sure your dining table will last as long as possible.

Remember to use coasters, placemats, and tablecloths if necessary and wipe down and dust when needed. Try to polish your table twice a year, fill in any nicks and scratches, and keep the humidity regulated, and you will have a table that will still look like new years from now.

If you are in the market for a new dining set in the Louisville, Dayton, or Cincinnati area, look for a unique dining set at Furniture Fair! No matter what size or style you need, we have options for you.

With 11 locations and a great collection of dining, bedroom, and living room sets, Furniture Fair has options for you! We feature options in every Good, Better, Best category, and we are sure to have a dining set for you. Visit our showroom today or visit us online!