We want you to be happy with what we built for you years after it leaves our shop. If you are ever uncertain of how to maintain your purchase, contact us, we’re happy to help.
Every product built by the Austin Joinery™ comes with care and cleaning guidance listed on the final sales order and or a furniture tag. If you no longer have either of those documents, please contact Austin Joinery™. We keep records of everything we build for our customers.
General care & cleaning tips
- Use a clean, soft cloth very lightly dampened with water or wood soap (Murphy’s Oil Soap™) to wipe off light amounts of dust. Immediately wipe away all excess moisture with a second clean, soft cloth.
- Do not clean your furniture with products that contain ammonia (like Windex™), silicone, solvents or harsh chemicals.
- Wipe up spills immediately.
- Avoid prolonged direct exposure to heating and cooling outlets.
- Heavy dust should be first removed with a vacuum before using a clean, soft cloth very lightly dampened with water or wood soap (Murphy’s Oil Soap™) to wipe off light amounts of dust.
- Use coasters or trivets to protect your furniture from heat and liquid.
- Use non-plastic surface protectors like felt or cork. Do not leave plastic tablecloths, placemats, trivets, coasters or other objects with plastic feet, or other plastics on furniture surfaces for long periods of time. Chemical components of plastic will migrate into the finish and damage it.
- Polish no more than a few times a year. Polish only enough to remove smudges.
- Some woods (like cherry) will darken over time. This is adds to the furniture’s beauty, but also makes it important that you keep your furniture in even light (or shade).
- If your furniture gets a scratch, ding, haze, etc… don’t guess at how to fix it. You risk making a mistake and voiding the warranty. Contact Austin Joinery before attempting to make a repair.
Clear Finishes (applicable to all finishes except hand-rubbed oil finishes)
For simplicity, we have combined the care and cleaning guidance for all shellac, varnish, lacquer, polyurethane and other protective finishes as Clear Finishes into this section. Before cleaning your furniture, customers that placed custom-made orders should refer to their furniture tag and or sales order for amplifying care instructions in addition to what is listed here.
- Avoid long contact of plastic materials with lacquer finishes. Over time the two may stick together and remove the lacquer finish when pulled apart. Instead, use felt or fabric mats to protect the furniture from items placed on top.
- Avoid tossing items on to your furniture to prevent “chipping” the finish. Some finishes, like lacquer are extremely hard, which makes it tough, but yet it’s so hard it can be chipped if mistreated.
- Never use oils, polishes or solvents on furniture with a protective clear coat. They are unnecessary and only increase the risk of a chemical reaction that may damage the finish.
- We DO NOT recommend using wax on clear finishes. Generally, wax won’t hurt the finish, but it may increase smudge marks and will probably only accelerate the dirt and grime build-up regime.
- As stated before NEVER use products that contain ammonia (like Windex™), silicone, solvents or harsh chemicals. Most clear finishes started as an emulsion that you risk reactivating or damaging if you try to guess at what to clean the surface with.
Hand-Rubbed Oil Finishes
There is nothing quite like the beauty of a hand-rubbed oil finish on furniture. Hand-Rubbed Oil Finishes have been used on furniture for a very long time. From time-to-time your hand-rubbed finish will require care and cleaning though.
- Typical cleaning of an oil-rubbed finish consists of wiping the furniture down with a soft rag dampened with water and oil soap. Never use furniture polish, ammonia, or other chemicals.
- If there is dirt and wax build up you can remove the build-up with a cleaning solution. Apply the solution with gentle pressure and let the cleaning agent do the work for a few moments before wiping off with a clean cotton rag. A good cleaning solution is a 50-50 mix of vinegar and water or Murphy’s Oil Soap™.
- Once properly cleaned you should re-wax the furniture.
- From time to time you can re-oil your furniture as well. For best results, you will want to do this with the wax coating removed. Always test the furniture oil you plan to use in a discreet area to make sure it will not damage or alter the existing finish.
Bottom line: We want people to walk in to your home and be impressed with what we made for you. Contact us if you have a maintenance question so we can guide you through the proper steps.