When you spend money on furniture, you want it to last. All of the sudden, your mom’s rules about taking your shoes off by the back door or not painting your nails on the couch seem to make more sense. Before you know it, you’re implementing some rules of your own in hopes of keeping your beautiful furniture looking clean and new.
If you’ve got furniture that you want to last over the years, consider these tips and tricks:
1. Guard It
Photo by Ana Pierce
New furniture should be ready to use, as-is. Right? Well, it can be. But one way to prevent stains and/or scratches on your newer items is to anticipate the wear and tear to come. Try treating your sofa with a conditioner before you start using it. Have a leather sofa? There are some great conditioners on the market that will treat the leather to make it look nice for much longer. Many fabric sofas or upholstered chairs will even respond well to Scotchgard.
Just make sure you research in advance exactly which products can be used on your surfaces. Before you treat the entire surface, make sure you test a small portion of the material. Most of the time, the treatment won’t alter the color of the furniture, but it’s best to be safe.
2. Clean It
This one may seem obvious, but your furniture definitely won’t look its best if it’s dirty! Give wood surfaces a regular dusting and polishing to avoid dirt build-up. If you’re staying on top of cleaning your furniture, you’ll also be more likely to notice if it needs any extra attention. The sooner you catch any spills on the sofa, for example, the easier they’ll be to treat.
3. Protect It
Photo by Ana Pierce
Once you’ve done everything to pre-treat your furniture, those little rules like “take your shoes off before entering the house” come in to play. Personally, I think there are some rules you can live without (like that shoe one) so guests can feel comfortable in your home. However, if you’re having a group over, don’t hesitate to throw a tablecloth on your delicate wood dining set. And if you’re entertaining in your living room, keep coasters in ample supply for guests to use.
4. Flip It
Many sofas have reversible cushions—if you have one like this, go ahead and give the cushions a flip every few months. This will help the sofa keep its shape longer.
In your dining area, if you tend to only use one or two of the chairs in your everyday life, rotate the chairs every once in a while, so they all get equal use, making them last longer. Flipping an item is also a good solution if one side has been scratched. Place the undamaged side in plain view and hide the other!
5. Repair It
Even if you do your best to keep your furniture in tip-top shape, it’s likely that something will get nicked, scratched or stained. If you have oil-finished wood, Boo’s Block is a good resource. You can also find a wide variety of colored wood wax filler to color in a scratch that goes below a finish. In many cases, you can ask a manufacturer or retailer what their best recommendation is for cleaning.