" " wisno wood furniture finishing: How to care the finish.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How to care the finish.

We need to care the finish if we want to maintain the furniture to stay longer. The finish is the protection layer from the furniture, the damage for the finish layer can be continuing to wood. The finish layer is the furniture element that needs to be well treated to keep it’s in the good shape. Wood furniture that is well cared could be an investment since someday it may become antiques that have a high value.
There is no finishes that is everlasting, all finish will wear and fade sooner or longer. But the proper maintenance will make the finish can stay longer.



 keep the finishing clean and dry

Here are tips for caring and maintaining the finishing layer.

  • Identify the type of the finish.
Each type of finishing materials has different characters, so they need different treatments as well. Now, there are many types of finishing materials, but simply they can be categorized into 2: the “chemical reaction dry” and “evaporation dry” finishing material.
The”evaporation dry” is the finishing materials that dry by evaporation its thinner without chemical reaction in the film forming. Includes this type are: nitrocellulose lacquer, butyrate lacquer, acrylic lacquer, shellac, and varnish. The dry finishing layer is a thermoplastic material which will melt and resolve when it is wet with its solvent. They have low resistance to solvents and chemicals. In general, they also have a lower resistance against abrasion and scratches.
The “chemical reaction dry” is the finishing materials that dry by the chemical reaction together with its thinner evaporation. Includes this type are: polyurethane, acid curing, catalyzed lacquer, precatalyzed, UV coating. The dry finishing layer is a strong thermosetting layer that won’t resolve with the solvent. The finishing layer also has high resistant to the scratches and abrasion.
Water based coatings actually is a non-chemical reaction finished, but he has the higher strength to chemicals, and scratches, but it has low resistant to the solvent.
By knowing the types of finishing materials then we will be able to do better treatment to the finish layer. The information about the finishing type can help us to choose the cleaning liquid when we need to clean the finish surface. We can use alcohol or even acetone to clean the “chemical reaction dry finish” if necessary. But for the “evaporation dry finish" we should choose the cleaning liquid carefully. The cleaning liquid that contains solvent such as: alcohol, acetone, M.E.K will damage the finish.
  •  Keep the finishing layer dry.
Water is one of the greatest enemy of wood finishing. Stagnant water on the finishing layer can damage the finish layer especially to the lacquer finish, shellac, or varnish. Even the polyurethane, acid curing or water based coating are not designed to hold a puddle water for a long time. The water and humid conditions will also invite fungus that will ruin the appearance of the finish. Since that we need to keep the finish surface to be dry. The water or any other liquid on the finish should be wiped and cleaned and soon to keep the finish dry.
  •  Avoid direct sunlight and physical abuses.
No finishing layer can withstand the physical abuses. Several types of finishing indeed could produce such a strong layer such as PU or UV coatings, but they will not be able to withstand the physical treatment that is too harsh. It is very difficult to avoid the physical damage, as long as we use the product, there will be physical interaction that potentially damages the finish. What we can do is to care and handle the furniture carefully to minimize the physical abuses. We may layer a table cloth, glass or plastic layer to cover the top table.
The direct sunlight sends the high energy that will damage the finish. The UV light will cause for the discoloration for the finish. The direct sunlight for the indoor finish will also damage the finish layer to be cracked and chipped off.
  • Clean he finish layer periodically
Finish layer can become dirty due to dust, dirt or stain. The dirt that is not immediately cleaned can stick to the finish layer and ruin the finish appearance. The stuck dirt will be more difficult to be cleaned and it may damage the finish. Ideally every time there is any dirt at the finish should be cleaned immediately. The periodically cleaning for the finish layer should be done to keep he finish layer clean.
We need to use the proper cleaning liquid to clean the finish. Avoid the liquids that contain alcohol or solvent. The solvent will dissolve the “non-chemical reaction dry finish" ; shellac, lacquer, varnish and water based. Despite the chemical reaction dry finish layer is resist to the solvent, but we better avoid the solvent liquid to clean the finish.  
  • Waxing.
It is the application of wax on the finish. The wax could help the make the finish feel smooth and slippery. The waxing to finish is good way to clean and keep the finish. It could reduce the abrasion and physical abuses in small impact. But the wax coating will not last long in a surface finishing. He will soon disappear and erased after been used for some time.  The application wax will require repetition every period of time. Use the thin and clear wax to clean the finishing layer. Don,t use the thick wax on the finish since it may sticking and smearing to the object being placed on. 

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