How to Care for Oak Furniture?

With a high density, impressive grains, and unquestionable durability, oak is a popular, stable wood for building indoor and outdoor furniture. A finished product of solid oak furniture is attractive and stands the test of time.

Whether in the bedroom, living room, or kitchen, oak furniture requires minimal care and maintenance to remove stains, make it shine, or deal with slight wear and tear.

However, facts aside, users need to know how best they can take care of oak furniture so it can achieve its intended purpose.

Proper care for oak kitchen cabinets or other pieces of furniture is possible with certified products for oiling, waxing, or general cleaning depending on the nature of the surface.

General Care

The type of care and maintenance lavished on oak furniture depends on whether it is for indoor or outdoor use. Each category requires a specific type of care. With that in mind, you can administer care as follows:

Indoor Oak Furniture

For interior purposes, oak furniture does need regular conditioning with oil or wax, which protects it from fungal infestations, cracking, or stains.

For solid results, you should apply wax or oil treatment repeatedly for a few months after purchase, extending it to the first few years after purchase. Later, they can reduce the treatment to at least twice a year.

Beeswax produces desirable results when applied along the grains, removed, and well-dried. It’s also important to know that oil-based cleansers for oak furniture should be all-natural, without any trace of chemicals that can react with the surface of the furniture.

While it’s durable and strong, oak is susceptible to heat and direct sunlight, which may cause over-dryness and cracking. Therefore, it’s important to keep oak kitchen cabinets away from heat sources.

Outdoor Oak Furniture

Outdoor oak furniture requires a different approach. It’s important that owners perform regular conditioning on untreated oak using lemon oil and not linseed oil. The latter may cause mildew if it does not dry properly.

The frequency of treatment reduces as the years elapse. In the first year or two, you may carry out the procedure on a quarterly basis, reducing it to twice a year after the second year. This is important whether you’re dealing with white oak cabinets or an oak roll top desk.

To control further damage by external elements, users may coat the surface of furniture by applying an oil-based stain. This treatment alleviates the effects of sun, rain, snow, or heat. It also reduces insect infestation.

Specific Treatment

When buying oak furniture, you should know and understand the difference between the three main categories. This important step determines the type of care a user may apply to the furniture.

  • Waxed Oak: For this type of oak furniture, the surface does not have sealing, so it can easily absorb elements from the surrounding areas.
  • Lacquered oak: The surface has a sealing and a glossy finish. This form of oak is more durable than other types. The surface does not allow liquid and heat penetration, although placemats and tablecloths are preferable.
  • Oiled oak: The surface has a warm, gorgeous finish, with resistance to elements.

On digital marketplaces such as Amazon, each product comes with specifications to help shoppers learn more about a particular product. As an oak furniture buyer, you need to know the basic properties of each type to enable you to select the right treatment procedure.

Here is a summary of what you need to do for each type of oak furniture:

ProductMain Care InstructionBenefitsPrecaution
Waxed OakRe-waxingProtects grains, prevents crackingConfirm color matches before application
Lacquered OakWeekly Spray PolishRestores glossy finishAvoid harsh chemicals, excessive water application
Oiled OakRe-oilingProtects against heat, sunlight, and liquidsAvoid strong detergents
Source: BHWS

For better results using the stated treatments, you need to observe the right application procedures.

Waxed Oak

Use a piece of soft, clean cloth to apply oak furniture wax along the directions of the grains at 5-minute intervals, until you cover the entire surface. Avoid back-and-forth strokes.

This procedure allows for the settlement of wax deep in the grains to provide optimum protection. To remove wax, buff in the direction of the grains to minimize steaks and air pockets.

Lacquered Oak

Use a damp cloth to remove dirt and dry up the surface when finished. Apply weekly spray polish to restore glossiness, but avoid oiled or chemically treated cloths that may damage the lacquered surface.

Alternatively, you may use warm water with mild soap to clean. However, excessive use of water may damage the seal.

Oiled Oak

Sand the surface along the grains using fine-grit sandpaper, preferably size 400-grit. Use a piece of dry cloth to apply oil evenly on the surface. Wait to dry and apply a second coat. Allow for 10-20 minutes before you wipe off excess oil. Shine and leave to settle for a day.

How to Buy Oak Furniture on Amazon

New and used oak furniture is available on Amazon. As a starting point, use basic search and move on to advanced search where you can refine the selection according to condition, price range, and indoor, or outdoor options.

Oak furniture image | Amazon

If you are a lover of vintage styles, you can refine your search further by selecting antique oak furniture in the subcategory space. As a shopper, you have to confirm delivery options and the seller’s reputation as well. Read carefully the description of the item you wish to buy and check if there are other photos of the product from different sellers.

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