How to Care For Kuda Furniture
How to care for your Kuda furniture
The furniture we sell at Kuda is from Indonesia, India and China. All of the pieces that we import from these countries are made of various kinds of wood that are grown and live in very different climates than Canada. Since wood is a living-breathing organism, the furniture imported must adapt to our environment. If the product is not acclimatized to its’ new environment or is exposed to extreme conditions it may get very dry.
At Kuda, we follow several steps to ensure that the furniture makes this smooth transition. You may have noticed several humidifiers on our showroom floor or noticed a staff member waxing or oiling a piece of furniture. The most common reason for this is to ensure that the furniture is getting enough moisture into it. The wood, like your skin, will lose moisture depending on its environment, particularly in the winter months when the heat is on in our homes and work environments. Heat actually draws moisture out of the air, therefore we notice that we have to moisturize our skin more often, as we do our furniture. So, it is very important to keep the furniture from drying.
Things you can do to keep your furniture happy and healthy
Humidity: We recommend a humidifier to keep the wood moist. If you do not wish to invest in a humidifier you can place a pot or bowl of water near the heat source so that the water can evaporate into the room where your piece is displayed. (You can make it decorative i.e. floating candles, etc.)
Waxing/Oiling: We strongly recommend waxing to help the furniture retain its moisture. We suggest a product with beeswax. You can also use good furniture oil. (Oil based – as opposed to chemical based – penetrates the wood best). Stay away from products with alcohol in them – they will actually dry out the wood. Most Indonesian and Indian pieces can be waxed on the outside as well as the inside. It is only the Chinese cabinets that need to be waxed from the inside because the lacquered finish on the outside of the cabinet will not absorb the wax. Also remember to do the shelves, backs, drawers, and legs of the piece.
Frequency of Waxing/Oiling: It is easy to tell how frequently your furniture needs to be waxed/oiled. If it feels dry to the touch it needs to be waxed. If the piece absorbs the oil/wax very quickly and still feels dry to the touch you need to wax it more frequently. It is better to wax more often than not often enough. As your furniture adjusts to you space the frequency of waxing should lessen.
Cleaning: Use a dry or damp cloth or household cleaner you like. Again do not use alcohol-based products. This will kill bacteria but also can dry the furniture, and/or remove the stain or finish. Also products with a strong citrus content may bleach or lighten the colour of the furniture (i.e. lemon oil). Windex is not recommended for wood products.
Other factors to consider
- Entertainment cabinets: If the stereo or television components you store in your Kuda cabinet give off a lot of heat, you may need to wax/oil more frequently. Waxing on the inside would be recommended. You can also add a small ventilation hole in the smaller section of the piece to increase air circulation.
- Placement of furniture: Air conditioning vents and heating vents do take moisture out of the air. If possible keep your furniture away from these items. A functional fireplace in your home will also produce dry heat, therefore keep a close eye on the moisture level of your piece.
- Sunlight: Try to keep your furniture out of direct sunlight. Over time it may fade the colour.
- Tung Oil: Tung oil acts similarly to urethane (a sealant) and is not recommended.
- Cabinet doors: If the cabinet is not in use it is best to keep it closed. This helps by first taking weight of the hinges and helps to keep them tight. Secondly, if your space is extremely dry, it will prevent warping. Make sure the top and bottom latches, (if any), are secured. Uneven pressure on the doors may actually cause warping over time.
What happens if furniture does react to the environment?
Sometimes, even with proper care, furniture from other parts of the world may still react while
acclimatizing to the Canadian environment. This may take the form of a crack, typically along a seam. This is just due to the expected expansion and contraction of wood. If you do experience any cracking in your piece it will typically be during the winter months, when the air is dryer. If this happens we recommend one of two things:
1. We strongly recommend that you “Wait it out.” Normally it may take up to two Canadian seasons for a piece of imported furniture to acclimatize. Therefore we suggest waiting for the piece to do what it has to do in the way of expanding and contracting before making any adjustments. Once the summer arrives and there is more moisture in the air, repairs to the furniture can be done with a much more satisfactory result.
2. You can choose to repair your piece immediately, however you may run the risk of the same thing occurring at a later date.
Whichever you choose, we at Kuda will help you with the care of your furniture. If you would like to do any repair work on your furniture, we will need approximately 5 (five) working days to do the repair. Any payment and/or delivery charges will be assessed on an individual basis.
Quick problem solving
Problem: A hot serving dish/teapot is left on your table and it leaves a ring!
Solution: If the table does not have shellac it may be fixed with 000 steel wool and beeswax with stain in it. Take the steel wool, put wax on it and gently, in a circular motion go over the affected area. Let the wax be absorbed and repeat. It will take more than one application but it should help.
Problem: The piece of furniture got scratched and there is an unstained portion visible.
Solution: Most hardware/building supply stores sell a “touch up pen” or “stain marker”. It is much like a felt tip marker. They are available in many stains/colours. You simply “draw” over the affected area and wipe away any excess stain.
*We hope that we have helped you understand the care of your new purchase. If there are any other questions you may have please call us at Kuda 416-463-4805 or 1-866-463-KUDA (5832). We are always pleased to help you.
ENJOY YOUR NEW FURNITURE