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Wood Care

General Advice for Wood Care

Wood furniture can last a long time with the correct maintenance. However, it’s important to note that natural woods can change color over time due to light exposure. Make sure to keep your wood furniture out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Items left in the same spot on a wood table may leave a mark, as the color changes around it. For expandable dining tables, make sure to leave the leaves of the tables out and exposed to the same lighting, so that the wood cures in the light at the same rate. Heat and moisture can also damage any type of wood surface; the use of high-quality coasters, placemats, and solid surface trivets can help avoid this. The most important thing to know is the type of finish your wood furniture is, as this determines the type of care needed.

By knowing your wood furniture’s finish, and following these instructions, your items should maintain or even improve on their original appearance. If you have any questions about your wood’s finish, or how to clean it, please contact us online or visit your nearest Copenhagen location.

Oiled Finish Care Instructions

Wood furniture with an oiled finish has a classic look that enhances the natural grain. Wood oil should be your go-to product for taking care of this type of furniture. You should oil your surfaces 1-2 times a year to maintain its long-lasting appearance. Rub in the direction of the grain when oiling it. After oiling, the wood should be thoroughly rubbed with a dry, absorbent cloth. All the oil must be rubbed off the surface. In fact, it should feel just as dry to your touch as it did before you started to oil.

For day-to-day cleaning, you can use a slightly damp cloth to disperse dust. For spills, make sure to gently blot the liquid away. Copenhagen currently sells and recommends Master Cabinetmaker’s Wood Oil, which is a turpentine-free oil that is water-resistant and protective, as well as Master Cabinetmaker’s Wood Cleaner, which is a universal cleaning agent for non-lacquered, indoor wood surfaces. It is produced from natural soaps and degreases wood surfaces.

Wood Care: How to Care for Oiled Wood

Lacquered Finish Care Instructions

Lacquer-finished wood is popular due to its liquid and discoloration-resistant surface, as well as its low-maintenance care process.

Lacquer differs from oil in that it forms a thin layer of film over the wood grain, rather than being absorbed. For day-to-day cleaning, simply wipe away dust using a damp cloth with warm water. Spills can easily be taken care of by dabbing with a cloth. This easy regimen is all that is needed to maintain your lacquered wood furniture.

Bamboo Care Instructions

Though bamboo is technically a type of grass, its composition and growth pattern is very similar to wood and therefore used to create the same types of furniture.

On a weekly basis, dust your bamboo furniture with a soft cloth or vacuum to prevent first buildup. For deeper cleaning, mix a few drops of mild dish soap in warm water, wring out a damp cloth, and wipe down the surface. Avoid soaking the bamboo, as it can swell. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly. To prevent drying and cracking, especially in dry climates, apply a light coat of mineral oil or beeswax polish monthly. Keep your bamboo furniture away from direct sunlight and heat sources like fireplaces to avoid warping. Blot spills immediately with a clean cloth. With regular care, your bamboo furniture will stay strong and stylish for years to come.

Wood Veneer and Melamine Care Instructions

The easiest of all wood types to care for is those with a veneer or melamine finish.

Use a damp cloth to clean dust and minor spills or stains, while a gentle cleanser can be used for tougher messes. As always, remember to use coasters and other protectors as heat and moisture can slowly damage the surface.

Species of Wood

There are many different species of natural wood, each with their own unique qualities and attributes. These species vary in texture grain and color, and can be used on their own to make solid wood furniture or as layers in crafting veneer.


Walnut wood is a hardwood and grows nearly everywhere in the world. It is strong, durable, and easily attainable, which makes it a popular choice in crafting furniture, especially detailed or ornate pieces. American black walnut, in particular, is one of the most popular varieties of walnut for making furniture and other goods, and typically comes in a dark brown color. Usually walnut’s grain runs straight, but some waves can appear closer to the root.


Mahogany wood is a hardwood that is native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. Its large size means that it’s well-suited to crafting statement pieces, such as dining tables. Mahogany has a straight, fine grain that is popularly used in making elegant, classic furniture, as well as a rich, reddish-brown hue that adds warmth to any space.


Birch wood is a hardwood known for its blondish, light brown color and fine, wavy grain. Its attractive appearance makes it popular in crafting modern furniture, and its lighter tones contribute to a minimalist design environment. Birch is strong and durable, and grows in abundance in North America, especially near the Appalachian Mountains and Great Lakes.


Oak is a hardwood that comes in a range of colors, from pale beige to rosy-red to deep brown. It has a striped grain and dense structure that makes it durable and versatile enough to be used in crafting different varieties and styles of furniture. Oak used for lumber typically comes from eastern and central North America.


Bamboo is actually not a wood, but a grass that is often used in making eco-friendly furniture. Its rapid growth and shrink-resistant structure has increased its popularity in recent years, especially in crafting both contemporary and modern furniture. Bamboo’s color darkens when it’s heated, and this process is used to produce various tones from pale yellow to caramel brown. Varieties of bamboo are grown throughout the world.


Teak is a hardwood that grows in south and southeast Asia. Its smooth grain and dense structure make it strong, durable, and visually striking. Teak has a golden color that can be sealed or left natural to develop a silvery grey patina over time, and produces its own oil that makes it resistant to decay. This makes it popular in use for outdoor furniture as well as in classic, mid-century modern design.


Ash is a hardwood that is native to North America and Europe. It’s one of the most durable woods, but is also flexible, making it popular for use in crafting curved or bent furniture, especially in mid-century modern homes. Its attractive light beige hue and smooth, straight grain have made it an aesthetically-pleasing choice throughout American history.

Forms of Wood Used for Furniture


Solid wood furniture has many benefits, including being easy to repair, and more resistant to warping over time. There are various types of solid wood to choose from, ensuring you’ll always have a wide selection of choices. Because of solid wood’s unique grain patterns, colors, textures, and long-lasting nature, furniture made from it can be passed down for generations. Because of its many benefits, solid wood is often more expensive than manufactured woods, and can be more susceptible to staining.


Veneer refers to a thin layer or cut of wood that is used on the surface of manufactured wood pieces to create an attractive, more-expensive looking finish without the price point of solid wood. Buying veneer furniture can often be more environmentally friendly because it requires less material from each individual log. Because of veneer’s construction, it may not last as long as solid wood furniture, but it’s easier to clean.

Manufactured Wood

Manufactured Wood is covered by a layer of real wood (veneer) that is often covered with a coat of melamine to protect the surface. Underneath the veneer is medium density fiberboard (MDF) which is a wood composite made from various wood pieces. Manufactured wood is still sturdy but weighs and costs less then solid wood.


Melamine is an organic compound that is used to create a variety of products, including manufactured woods. Melamine is often engineered to mimic the look of wood and is easier to clean then solid wood and veneers. Its inexpensive price point and resistance to moisture and fire make it an affordable and practical alternative to solid wood furniture.