Caring for Your Furniture
Curing and Durability
When you receive your furniture the finish is 80% cured. This is similar to cement, as the finish is hard, protective, and ready to use right away. However, it takes an additional 3—4 weeks for the final natural hardening of the surface. For the first 3—4 weeks in your home, avoid heat and moisture to the surface.
There will be natural movement of the wood. For example, a table top will show a small gap at certain times of the year, then it will close back up. This is a natural product; it is not plastic.
Abrasion and Scratching
Catalyzed varnish is tough, but not bulletproof. There will be scratches and dents along the way if you use your furniture, but there are ways to avoid this. Do not slide items across furniture; make sure to lift and move. Sliding dishes or cups that have a rough bottom will scratch the surface. Make sure you put soft, protective pads underneath vases and decorative items. Keep your furniture free of dust. Dust particles, while small, can be abrasive. Remember, this is a durable varnish, but even the toughest automobile finish will scratch with abrasion.
Spills and Water Rings
Blot up spills immediately. The surface finish provides a tight web of protection that makes most spills that would ruin a normal lacquer finish not a problem. However, moisture for an extended period of time can cause slight discoloration that—with time—will in most cases disappear. Try to avoid this by blotting up any spills as soon as they happen.
Avoid placing extremely hot items on the surface, especially in the first 3-4 weeks in your home. At anytime you should never take anything directly out of a microwave or oven and put directly on your furniture. The average heat out of a microwave is 211°F. Catalyzed varnish is tested to withstand temperatures up to 140°F.
Especially so with a natural or light color. Make sure to rotate place mats and accessories to prevent uneven aging when exposed to natural sunlight. Remember to rotate table leaves, as well. Table leaves that are always stored away from sunlight will not age the same as the rest of your table.
Cleaning and Polishing
Care for your heirloom quality furniture with Heirloom Essentials® Fine Furniture Polish & Spotless Cleanser. It is formulated, specifically, to maintain the beauty and luster of furniture that has been finished with catalyzed varnish, but works on all finishes and wood species. Clean your furniture regularly with H.E. Spotless Furniture & Glass Cleanser to remove dust, fingerprints, grease and food residue. Spotless can be used on wood, glass, vinyl and many other hard surfaces. Polish once a week, or as often as you’d like with H.E. Fine Furniture Polish to maintain the rich luster of your furniture. Available in a wide variety of fragrances.
Products to Avoid
Please do not clean or polish your wood furniture, cabinetry or ﬂooring with products containing silicone, wax or ammonia. These additives will damage varnish with repeated use. Wax buildup on varnished wood will react to moisture, heat and solvents causing hazing or blushing that would not typically occur on a clean surface. Silicone will prevent varnished wood from ever being refinished in the future. Ammonia will soften any finish, with repeated use, making it soft and sticky.