When it comes to maintenance

Looking after the furniture in your home can be quite simple if you follow a few rules of thumb, writes Ruth Dsouza Prabhu

When it comes to maintenance

Now that your home is set up and you are living in it comfortably, you are all set for the next phase of home-making — that of maintaining it all. An important aspect of home maintenance is looking after your furniture. Now, this can be a little tricky, considering that furniture in every room can be of a different material and consequently, have different means of being looked after. Let’s explore how you can deal with commonly found items of furniture of different materials too.

 “Every material has its own allure,” believes Girish Mysore, co-founder, GreyScale. “Customers makes an informed decision based on their requirements and tastes. Where one may prefer an iron frame bed, another might prefer a wicker bed. That being said, metals are mostly used as outdoor
furniture for their durability. Poolside furniture, benches, folding chairs, swing sets etc, are all made from aluminium. Wicker is generally used for porch and patio furniture. The light, yet sturdy material makes comfortable chairs, beds, and tables. Cupboards are also often made of this. Wood is also a popular material for furniture and is used to make tables, chairs, beds, cupboards etc. Each of these materials is used to make similar types of furniture, but what differentiates them is the effect that each one has on the setting of a home.”

Issues that need attending to
The material for most furniture is generally based on where the latter is going to be placed and how well it suits a particular climate, and of course, its usage. These aspects are then balanced along with aesthetics and the ability of the furniture to fit in seamlessly with the interior decor theme of a home. Besides the expected wear and tear of furniture over time, there are a few other common issues that arise.

 These include discolouration, which is common across most kinds of furniture. For cane, wicker and wood furniture, this can happen from extensive exposure to sunlight or moisture (during the rainy
season). The same can happen to metal as well. “The cane strands can snap, or sag, for which the only remedy is reweaving the entire piece,” says Girish. “The rainy season could cause mould attacks in cane and wicker furniture and rust in metal furniture and soggy wood in wooden furniture.”

Each material requires specific means of cleaning and maintaining it and this is something you need to know before you make an investment. Your interior designer will definitely advise you on what is involved in the maintenance of each material. Some things to keep in mind are that cleaning of metal furniture involves using specific detergents, buffing, polishing and waxing. Metal furniture can be heavy and bulky, which means you may require an additional pair of hands to help move it around for cleaning or otherwise. Wooden furniture requires polishing on a regular basis to help maintain its sheen. As long as you know what you have signed up for with furniture and are willing to go all the way, maintenance shouldn’t be too hard.

Essential tips
You will want your furniture to last you a long while and always look as good as new. This is possible if you follow a few simple tips. Here is what Girish suggests:

  • The important thing as far as metal furniture is concerned, is to make sure that it is rust-free. Ensure that is kept away from moisture and that the surface is always dry. Use of a rust-protection spray is a good idea. This will also give it an additional shine. You get covers for your furniture at garden shops. These covers are specially designed for your furniture and will cover it from top to bottom to prevent any water from coating it.
  • One of the main issues that you will face with wooden furniture is that it tends to get scratched easily. A quick and easy solution is to use a woodwork scratch felt tip marker pen to cover up the stain and then seal it in with transparent polish.

 

  • Girish points out that polishes and oils don’t help wood after it has been sealed with wax. “Some might say that their oils and polishes feed the wood or nourish it, but this isn’t possible,” he says.

 

  • Wooden furniture can crack with extreme exposure to  sun; so, keep away from direct sunlight.

 

  • Cane furniture needs to be kept away from both extreme heat and low humidity situations. The material is prone to discolouration and sagging. Any signs of mildew and mould have to be eliminated immediately. Lingering mould and mildew will harm your furniture requiring it to be rewoven completely.


Your furniture is an integral part of your home and you will want it to serve you well. With these few tips, you will be able to set the ground to have your furniture around for a long while to come.

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