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