Wood Maintenance These useful tips will help keep fine wood furniture looking good for years. Caring for Wood Furniture Polish wood furniture with the Peace of Mind polish at least four times a year to keep it moisturized and protected. Regular dusting with a soft cloth is recommended. Paper towels have a rough surface and can scratch wood surfaces. Surface scratches, burns and water marks are preventable. Using coasters, placemats, and table cloths will help protect wood finishes. A quality heat-resistant table pad is recommended. Apply protective felt pads to the feet of decorative objects and electronic equipment to prevent scratching and sticking. If a fifth center support leg is included with a new dresser, be sure that it is screwed in place to maintain structural integrity. Beds should be disassembled before moving. Lifting one side of the bed or dragging the bed to move it can break the rails, and/or the headboard and footboard. Understanding the Appearance of Wood Furniture Because wood is a natural product, color and grain variations, along with the appearance of natural characteristics is to be expected. Manufacturers often take great care to add "distressing" to a new piece of wood furniture. Common distressing techniques include filing down edges, adding nicks and holes to a surface, and rubbing paint finishes. Distressing lends a time- worn, aged look and great character to the piece. Often overlooked in the store, it's an intentional extra step taken to enhance the overall appearance. Color Change in Wood Exposure to natural light can cause wood surfaces to change color. Cherry will become noticeably darker; natural maple and birch will acquire a yellow patina. Some wood surfaces can fade in direct sunlight. If fading is a concern, covering the surface can help protect wood finishes. Tables and table leaves are an example of when color difference is most noticeable. If leaves are stored most of the year, and then inserted for holiday gatherings, it can be expected that the color of the table and the leaves will be different, taking into consideration that the table has been exposed to more light than the leaves. Odors: The "New Smell" of Wood Most new furniture often has an odor. The odor is not harmful, and will dissipate in a short amount of time. Air out the room by opening doors and windows if possible to reduce the smell of the new furniture. Using dryer sheets, or coffee grinds in an open container, near the furniture can help neutralize any odors. Expansion and Contraction: Wood Furniture on the Move! Wood furniture constantly reacts to the humidity level in the environment. Increased humidity causes wood to expand; colder drier air causes wood to contract. In humid months, drawers might "stick" and open with resistance. During dry winter weather, wood contracts. Consequently, furniture can show gaps, especially where a table leaf fits into a table top, or around dresser drawers. Both of these issues are temporary. When moisture levels in the home stabilize, wood furniture will return to its regular appearance and performance. Leveling and Tightening Components As a house "settles", floors in the home can become uneven. This is mostly noticeable in hard surface flooring, like wood or tile. Armoires, TV cabinets and other wood furniture often have built-in leveling systems to help furniture stand securely. Look for leveling instructions that are included with the furniture, or call Jordan's Customer Service Department (1-866-8-JORDANS) for assistance. Leveling procedures booklet With use, chair legs can loosen. Periodic tightening of the hardware will help keep chairs level. Table Leaves Unless a dining table has a fifth center support leg, leaving table leaves in place for long periods of time can cause the table to sag in the middle. When not in use, table leaves should be wrapped in a soft cloth or in a specially designed storage bag and stored horizontally. Storing leaves face down and flat in a protected area, such as under a bed, is recommended.