Caring for Your Painted Furniture
Painted furniture – like our cabinet frontals and accessories – can be the perfect finishing touch by which to add a splash of colour to oak kitchens. We are proud to utilise the fine selection of Farrow & Ball paints and can hand finish your frontals in any colour from their range.
This step by step guide will help make maintaining your painted furniture an easy task; the instructions range from simple cleaning methods to completely repainting, so do continue reading for some handy tips!
The best method is surprisingly straightforward: using a lint free cloth or duster, simply wipe your painted furniture clean. Not only does this keep the colour looking fresh and new, it also prevents dirt and dust from collecting on the surface which, if left to settle, will require more vigorous cleaning. Repeat this as often as possible, within reason – the cleaner you can keep your painted furniture, the longer it will stay in an optimum condition.
We also recommend undertaking this process before embarking on any of the cleaning methods detailed below to help avoid dirt and dust scratching the surface.
Minor stains and lightly soiled areas are easily cleaned: mix a small amount of washing up liquid or soap (we recommend using a detergent denoted as ‘mild’ or ‘kind to hands’ as this will be more PH neutral) with warm water. Using a damp cloth, wipe your painted furniture, ensuring you take extra care with the particularly dirty areas. Once it has been cleaned, rinse the item with fresh, clean water to remove any chemicals or soap residue that may be left. Immediately dry with a lint-free cloth to prevent liquid resting on the surface and causing staining or other damage.
Small areas of your painted furniture may dull in colour due to various factors such as age, general use and repetitive cleaning. If this is the case, adding a light layer of paint to retouch the colour will reinvigorate them and look good as new.
Sometimes, you may want to completely repaint your wooden furniture when changing a colour scheme or simply to refurbish old and worn down items without breaking the bank. This can be done easily by following the steps below:
- Sand the furniture down with an 80 grit sandpaper until the timber’s natural grain is visible
- Sand again using a 240 grit to achieve a smooth finish
- Apply Farrow & Ball Primer Undercoat to prepare for paint
- Finish with at least two coats of paint once the undercoat is dry
How to prevent stains from reappearing
There are a number of measures you can take to prevent stains from reappearing, including the following:
- If hot, wet or dirty items are often placed on a painted surface, make sure you use mats, coasters, trivets, or hotrods to prevent direct contact with the timber.
- Any spilled liquid should be wiped up immediately. The same advice applies to food and other solids that could leave oily or greasy marks on the surface.
Image Credit: hss.com
Items to avoid
We do not recommend using any other cleaning solutions than those mentioned above. This is because such solutions can stain the paint of the timber beneath it, causing damage to your furniture. Furthermore, avoid cleaning accessories such as metal scourers as these will leave scratches in the paint. Prior to cleaning, you should always wipe over your furniture with a clean and dry cloth to remove anything that may be sitting on the surface (as such residue could scratch your furniture during the cleaning process).
Wood is a natural product. As such, it can expand and contract with variation in room temperature and air humidity, and may move over time. As an untouched product this does not cause any problems, and small splits or gaps between joins only add to the wood’s character – it’s not a fault. When painted, wood’s movement can be accentuated further, though it is easily remedied by following the advice below.
Repairing cracks and splits
Over time wood naturally moves, especially in an environment that has a variable climate (like a kitchen). With the higher grade timber we use for our solid wood kitchen cabinets, this is generally avoided. Should your cabinets or doors suffer over time to the extent where simply painting over them will not mask the damage, there are some relatively simple fixes you can undertake to get the wood back to its former glory:
- Some cracks may appear as little more than deep scratches, and so the best form of repair is using good wood filler such as Rustin’s. Apply the filler to fill in the crack, allow time to dry and sand back to an even finish using a 240 grit sandpaper, then repaint.
- For larger cracks and splits, use a high quality flexible decorator’s caulk – cheaper brands tend to crack. Apply the caulk into the affected area, allow to dry, sand down with to a smooth finish using a 240 grit sandpaper or higher and apply 2 – 3 coats of paint.
Most joints between two pieces of wood are easily repaired with little more than wood glue. Remember to use the wood glue sparingly so that it does not overflow from the join, if it does, simply wipe away the excess glue before it sets.
For joins that cannot be repaired in this way, you may have to reinforce the joint with a small, flat piece of wood on the rear of the join. It’s usually best to use wood glue rather than screwing the reinforcing piece in to the door, as this could lead to extra cracks and weaknesses in the wood. We advise using a g-clamp to hold the pieces firmly together whilst the glue dries. Repaint as necessary.
All of our oak kitchen cabinets and doors are made to the highest standard possible, and are quality-checked routinely throughout the manufacturing and finishing process. We’re confident you will enjoy many years of trouble-free use from your cabinets if installed and maintained correctly as per our advice; however, should you have any further queries regarding cabinet care, please feel free to contact us.
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Please note:this guide was originally published on 19th June 2015 and was most recently updated on 31st May 2018.