How to Care for Fine Furniture

The beautiful finishes on fine, handcrafted furniture can be intimidating to care for. However, it is relatively easy to clean and dust wood furniture.

A Soft Cloth

To remove dust, any kind of soft cloth will work well. Try to use something that doesn’t produce much lent. An old, cut up cotton t-shirt will do the job. To prevent dust from scattering into the air and resettling on the furniture use a small amount of water to moisten the cloth. Follow up with a dry cloth to remove any excess water off the surface of the wood. It is important not to leave behind any streaks; water left behind can ruin the finish.

feather duster

A feather duster will work well to remove dust from detailed or hard to reach places.

Special Tools

Feather dusters work well to remove dust from detailed pieces. Better Homes and Gardens suggests using a lamb’s-wool duster. These dusters naturally contain lanolin that will help dust cling to the duster rather than scatter. There are also treated cloths available designed specifically for removing dust without scratching furniture. Be wary of commercial sprays and polishes. Many of them can leave behind unwanted residue after many uses.


Always talk with the designer of your piece to determine the best care. Their instructions will likely vary depending on the finish of the wood. Your safest bet is always a dry cloth. The more often you remove dust, the less you will scatter into the air of your home. Vacuuming regularly can also prevent dust from settling on your furniture. Frequent dusting will keep your fine furniture looking beautiful everyday!

Other Precautions

If your piece is in a high traffic area of your home, be sure to cover any surfaces that may collect items. A table cloth, table runner or doily will protect the wood from scratches. Keep coasters visible if it is a surface where someone may place a drink. When coasters are easy to see and grab, it is more likely that guests and family members will use them. These few, simple precautions will help your fine furniture last longer with less wear and tear.

Image: “Feather Duster” by Steven Depolo

What Makes Heirloom Furniture?

In the breakfast nook of my parent’s home sits a round kitchen table. It is beginning to show a bit of age, but it has withstood generations of use and abuse. It is rumored to have been my great-grandmother’s table who was the mother to 20 children. It is now enduring the activity of ten grandchildren that pass their weekends and holidays eating pizza and doing crafts at this kitchen table. I expect that this table will be passed on to one of these ten kids someday. This is an heirloom piece of furniture. During my great-grandmother’s lifetime these pieces of furniture were the norm. In fact, it was likely that a close relative crafted it. Hand craftsmanship was necessary and commonplace. In current times it is much more difficult to find a piece of furniture that is worthy of being handed down. We have traded stellar craftsmanship, quality materials and style for cost and convenience. However, heirloom furniture does still exist. Here is what to look for if you are looking for a special piece that can be passed down for generations:

Full Grain Matched Drawer Bottoms

Look for pieces that are made from hardwood rather than MDF.

Hardwood Construction

This Old House suggests avoiding fiberboard or medium density fiberboard, also called MDF. These materials just won’t hold up over time. Look for pieces that are made with all hardwood. A good craftsman will also make sure the grain and color match well in each piece of wood used for construction.


Handcrafted joinery such as dovetails and quality adhesives will outlast any metal joinery. If metal was required, makes sure it isn’t readily visible. This can detract from the appearance of your furniture.

Style and Story

Live Edged Cherry Bed

The small heart carved into this headboard makes this piece unique and special.

Heirloom furniture is more than just a quality piece of furniture. It should be one-of-a-kind with a design that is both attractive and timeless so that it will be desirable for years to come. Look for pieces that have a story and personality, but will also blend with a variety of decor. Try to find little details that make the piece stand out.   At T. Scholl Fine Woodworks furniture is built with quality wood and hardware using attentive care and craftsmanship so that the pieces will last for generations. Each piece is also inspired by the mountainous scenery and rich history surrounding Todd’s shop in Fairplay, CO. These pieces are full of personality and unique details. If you are searching for furniture that you can pass down to future generations, check out T. Scholl Fine Woodworks.   Do you have any heirloom furniture in your home? What kind of piece would you want to hand down to your grandchildren?

Happy New Year from T. Scholl Fine Woodworks

Fully Finished Back and SidesAre you searching for heirloom quality furniture? Have you been searching for a unique piece full of character and personality? T. Scholl Fine Woodworks can craft the ideal piece for you.

T. Scholl Fine Woodworks specializes in custom furniture perfect for any mountain home or business.
Read More…