- Home / The History of Amish Furniture
The History of Amish Furniture
Since Amish furniture is made out of all-natural American hardwood, it requires some special care. You want to protect your investment and keep it around for future generations. Luckily, this is easier than you might think. To care for solid wood furniture, just follow these simple tips—and don’t stress!
It might sound a little weird, but it’s helpful to think of your Amish furniture piece as a living thing. During its lifetime, wood breathes, taking in and releasing moisture from the air. Even after wood has been fashioned into furniture, it continues to breathe; and while it may feel hard to the touch, wood actually dents easily. Amish furniture just needs to be handled gently and treated well.
Solid wood furniture can’t handle high heat. On your Amish dining room table, make sure you always use a hot pad for warm dishes. For dishes that come straight out of the oven, or for pots coming off the stove, it’s best not to put them on your Amish table at all, even with a hot pad. The heat is just too much, and the hot pad won’t prevent damage to the finish and the wood.
For an Amish furniture piece that’s used as a writing surface, it’s important to put some kind of pad between the paper and the table. Believe it or not, ballpoint pens can dent the finish on your Amish table.
Remember how wood is a living thing? It actually changes color when it’s exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. It’s best to place your solid wood furniture away from direct sunlight. If you can’t avoid putting the furniture in direct sunlight, consider rotating pieces frequently to avoid long-term exposure.
If you can’t avoid the sunlight and you can’t rotate your furniture, don’t leave objects on your table for long periods of time. That way, the color will change evenly across your furniture.
Wood keeps adapting to humidity even after the lumber has been made into furniture. The finish on your Amish furniture slows down the transfer of moisture from the air, but it can’t stop it entirely. As humidity swings up and down, your solid wood furniture will expand and contract accordingly. Amish furniture is built to handle moderate swings in humidity, which are typical in northern climates. However, huge, sudden swings can cause the wood to buckle or crack.
The best rule of thumb? If the temperature and humidity inside your home feel comfortable to you all year round, your furniture will be happy, too.
Moisture and Spills
Contrary to popular belief, a spilled beverage on your Amish dining room table isn’t the end of the world. Just wipe it up completely, right away. If you want to avoid condensation from cups, you can use coasters on your wood surfaces. However, if you make it a habit of wiping up condensation immediately, there’s no need to use coasters. Just be consistent, and wipe up the condensation every time.
Spilled chemicals are another matter. Solvents such as turpentine, rubbing alcohol, or nail polish remover will almost certainly destroy the finish on your Amish furniture. The best rule of thumb is to keep these chemicals far away from your solid wood furniture. After all, you shouldn’t need nail polish remover at the dining room table!
Dusting and Cleaning
It’s important to dust and clean your Amish furniture regularly. However, you need to do it the right way. As dust particles build up, they can actually damage the finish on your furniture. Worse, if you dust or clean with a dry cloth, you’ll scratch the finish.
The answer is simple: use a microfiber cloth to clean your furniture. Moisten it with water, or with furniture polish. Don’t use too much liquid—just enough to dampen the cloth. Wipe along the grain of the wood, and wipe gently.
Caring for solid wood furniture is easier than you might think. The trick is to know what you’re doing, and do it consistently. We’ve covered the basics here, but if you have any further questions, we’re happy to help you out. Just call us at 888-882-6474, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.