Basic Mistakes to Avoid to Keep Your Wooden Table in Its Top Condition


A solid wooden dining table is quite an investment because solid woods are expensive. Whether it is made of oak, walnut, pine, or any other wood type, you must protect your wood dining table to keep its surface in its top condition for many years. Keep in mind that heat, harsh chemicals, and moisture can damage your wood table.

The best thing about wood dining tables is that they provide your dining space’s much-needed durability and versatility, especially when you go with extendable dining tables.  If you buy a wood dining table, here are the basic mistakes to avoid to keep it looking good even after many years.

Placing hot things directly on the table

Dinning space with table, chairs and firework
Used with permission of Blackband Design

The dining table is meant to withstand frequent use since it is where your family meets for everyday dinner or to share tasty meals. However, many homeowners wear away their dining tables by placing hot kitchenware directly on the table without using any mats. A casserole dish or stew pot straight out of the oven should not be placed directly on your dining table. As earlier said, heat is one of the enemies of wood. You can use table mats or a serving cloth to protect your wood table from the scorches of the heat from kitchenware.

Skipping on table mats

Whenever your family is having a meal at the dining table, it is best to protect it from spills and stains with table mats or table cloths. Table mats come in handy for daily dining, but a large table cloth is perfect for large group dinners like hosting birthdays, parties, and other celebrations.

Note that plastic table mats can melt under hot kitchenware or trap moisture, which impacts your wood table. Others might cause a chemical reaction with the wood finish on the table. Cloth is good over synthetic table cloths. You should only use them when using the dining table and remove them when not in use to enjoy your beautiful wood table.

Using a knife to scrape off wax spills

Dining room with dark table and white chairs
Used with permission of Katie Destefano

Many homeowners are guilty of this mistake; using a knife to scrape off wax spills after a candle-lit dinner. Avoid using a knife or anything metal, such as scissors, to scrape off stains from your wooden dining table. Remember that it may scrape off the finish of the wood or the wood itself if there is no top protective layer. You can use a credit card to scrape off wax clumps or run a slightly warm iron over a cloth on the wax to melt it.

Using commercial dusting sprays and cleaners

The best thing about a wooden table is that it is long-lasting with simple maintenance like dusting and wiping spills as they occur. Steer clear of commercial dusting sprays meant to give you wood table only a temporary sheen and then attracts more dirt that builds upon the wood. Others contain chemicals that interact with the finish on the wood and degrade it. You can easily maintain your wood dining table with a wet cotton cloth to wipe daily spills and buff with a dry cloth.

Ignoring condensation

Cold drinks and flower vases can transfer humidity and moisture to a wooden dining table which leaves white rings of moisture if the water gets trapped in the wood. It is best always to use pads, coasters, and trivets when placing cold drinks on your dining table. If you notice water rings non your dining table, there are several ways you can deal with that. First, wait for two to three days. If the water ring does not disappear, blow it gently with a hairdryer on low heat or use an oil-based product to remove the water spot.

Ignoring scratches on the table

Dinning room and kitchen
Used with permission of Jack Gardner

When hosting large group parties and dinners, always cover your wood dining table with a table cloth or provide your guests with napkins. Huge metal watches, bangles, and spiky rings can gouge your wooden table. The scratches may be invisible in the beginning but get unsightly with time. Use a table cloth to protect your wood table when hosting guests.

The final words

Taking care of your wooden table prolongs its service life and keeps it looking its best, enhancing your dining area’s overall look.

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