Chances are, you invested a hefty sum of money buying your furniture. Or perhaps you inherited antique furniture from a loved one. Whether you are concerned about monetary or sentimental value, though, you undoubtedly want to keep your furniture around and in excellent condition for as many years as possible. Things like sofas, chairs, beds, and desks see a lot of wear and tear, but, with proper care, you can avoid rips and tears, keep metal furniture from tarnishing or rusting, and prevent other types of damage.
From installing blackout blinds to prevent the sun from bleaching your favorite chair to learning how to clean upholstery the right way, there are lots of things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of your furniture. Keep reading to find out how to ensure your furniture won’t tarnish and uncover other tips for making your furniture last longer.
Block Out the Sun with Blinds
Room darkening blinds aren’t just good for helping people who work the night shift get some shuteye during the day. They also block out harmful UV rays that could damage your upholstered furniture, floors, and more. Direct sunlight causes bright colors to fade over time. It can also either lighten or darken wood. The type of discoloration that occurs depends on the kind of wood.
Protecting your furniture from sun damage is one of the best ways to extend its life. When placing your furniture away from direct sunlight isn’t an option, installing blackout blinds or shades is the next best option. Tinted window films work, too, and they allow you to protect your furniture without sacrificing your view.
Move with Care
Whether you are loading up for a cross-country move or just thinking about moving your sofa to the other side of the room, take care when moving your furniture. Never push or drag it. In addition to scratching up your floors, doing so can seriously damage your furniture. When moving heavy pieces like loveseats and oversized chairs, have someone help you lift and carry them.
Using furniture carrying straps helps, too. They make it easier to lift heavy objects and take some of the strain off your back. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving your furniture across the room or across the country. Knowing how to move it properly is the best way to avoid both damage and injuries.
Check and Tighten Screws Regularly
Though often overlooked, checking and tightening fasteners is an integral part of maintaining your furniture. With frequent use, the joints in your furniture can become loose. If you notice that a chair, bookshelf, table, or another piece of furniture seems wobbly, stop using it until you have a chance to fix it. And even if everything seems sturdy and secure, it never hurts to get out a screwdriver and make sure those screws are nice and tight.
Polish the Hardware
If your furniture has metal hardware, polishing it is the only way to prevent it from tarnishing. You shouldn’t use just any polish, though. Be sure to choose a product that does not contain ammonia, as it could cause corrosion. The best option is a polish with a mild abrasive that will remove dirt and debris without damaging the metal.
Remove the hardware before polishing or use masking tape to cover the rest of the furniture. Polishes that are great for metal can cause serious damage to wood and other surfaces, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to protect the rest of the piece when polishing the hardware.
Keep It Clean
Regularly cleaning, dusting, and vacuuming your furniture maintains its appearance. Doing so also prevents dust particles from accumulating and making the upholstery look faded. Clean up spills and treat stains as soon as possible to keep them from setting.
When shopping for furniture cleaner, be sure to buy the right products for the job. Ditch your all-purpose cleaners in favor of products made specifically for various types of furniture. And avoid harsh chemicals whenever possible, as they can damage upholstery, wood, and metal.
Repaint or Refinish
If your furniture is still structurally sound but starting to show its age, repainting or refinishing it could be a perfect solution. Paint, stain, or varnish can breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. It also protects the surface and prevents further damage to the piece. You can hide shallow scratches with a bit of varnish or stain, too.
Protect from Water Stains
Water stains are one of your furniture’s worst enemies. Prevent them by making sure coasters are always used to protect surfaces from water rings. And clean up any liquid spills immediately. Be mindful of spills and drips on metal hardware, too, because they can cause rust and tarnishing.
Skip the Cheap Stuff
Getting the most out of your furniture starts with making an intelligent investment. When shopping for new furniture, going for the cheapest option will undeniably save you some money upfront. However, your investment will quickly fall apart, and you’ll find yourself shopping for a replacement much sooner than you’d like. Spending more on high-quality furniture means investing in something that will last longer and provide your family with years of use.
Don’t cheap out when shopping for furniture cleaner, paint, varnish, or stain, either. Always choose products that are made specifically for your intended purpose, and stick with trusted brands. It’s worth spending a few dollars more to get something that will yield excellent results.
Keep your furniture looking new and avoid tarnish and other forms of damage by following the guidelines listed above. Whether you are trying to protect brand-new furniture or extend the life of an antique, understanding proper care techniques is the best way to get the most out of your furniture.