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Home Decor

Furniture Polish

It is necessary to polish wooden furniture once a year. But it is often difficult to decide what type of polish to use on wooden furniture. The chief concern is whether the polish you use will damage the wooden furniture. Most often the manufacturers do not reveal the chemical ingredients of polishes. And these ingredients are changed without notice. These ingredients may damage wooden furniture. Polishes are available in the market in three forms, aerosol or spray, liquid and semisolid. Given below in a brief description of each type and its advantages and disadvantages.

Spray Polishes or Aerosols

  • Though they are the handiest polishes they are the most damaging. They damage wooden furniture as they have silicone oils and other contaminants as their ingredients.
  • Some sprays damage varnishes and lacquers.

Liquid Polishes

  • These are easy to use as well. They are available in two types emulsion polishes and oil type polishes.
  • Emulsion polishes are waxes, oils and organic solvents in a water solution so that it can be applied easily on the furniture.
  • Emulsion polishes clean extremely well and leaves a nice shine on the wooden surface. But this effect lasts only till the liquid dries.
  • Oil polishes come in two types nondrying oils and drying oils. Oil polishes can be used as the final finish.
  • Nondrying oils like paraffin, lemon oil and mineral are less harmful than drying oils. Some oils remain on the surface it has been used. As a result dust and other contaminants stick to the wet oil surface.
  • Drying oils like linseed oil and walnut oil dry on the wooden surface by oxidation. This is a chemical reaction and over a period of time is difficult to remove.

Semisolid Polishes

  • These polishes are the best as the damage done to the wooden surface is minimum.
  • They are commercially known as "Paste Waxes" and are very stable and do not cause problems like the other type of waxes.
  • Furniture conservators and other furniture experts use paste waxes.
  • Applying this polish involves a lot of physical labor. Buffing wax is a strenuous job and better the quality of wax, greater the amount of buffing required. The extra effort is worth it as it is beneficial to the furniture.
  • As this polish is stable and durable it needs to be applied infrequently. Wax polish areas that are used very often once or twice a year and areas like the legs of tables and chairs, cabinets etc can be polished once in three or four years.
  • Wax should not be applied frequently as there will be a build up of wax that will look unattractive on a wooden surface.

Though it is easy to use liquid polishes they damage the furniture. It is better to make the extra effort and apply wax on the furniture, as it will benefit the wood.


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