Furniture, Bedding, Cabinets, Countertops & Storage

Furniture Polishing Tips

Wooden furnitures are life time assets and can last several generations if proper care is taken. It is necessary to polish wooden furniture once a year to take good care and maintain the shine of the furniture. Do note that polishing does not mean that you do not dust or clean your furniture regularly, the cleaning activity should be done as soon as possible whenever any mark or spot appears.


It is difficult to decide what type of polish to use on wooden furniture since you need to ensure that the polish used does not damage the wooden furniture. Most often the manufacturers do not reveal the chemical ingredients of polishes. And these ingredients are changed without notice. These ingredients can damage wooden furniture.

Carpenters, you engage for polishing may create their own furniture polish so you should check what they are using to ensure there is no damage.

Most polishes are inflammable so you should take proper precautions. Also, it should be kept away from children so that they don't consume this.

Beewax Polishes

Bee wax is produced by honey bees and has been there for long being used for protecting fine, finished wood.
It is a soft substance that melts under heat easily and never dries to become a hardened finish. Therefore, it does not provide furniture adequate protection from heat, steam, or chemical spills. Over the years, though, bee wax was mixed with other harder waxes, such as carbuna, to form a more modern, durable furniture polish. This addition significantly increased its ability to protect wood. This type of modern waxes is often preferred by the caretakers of fine wood furniture.

There are many other types of furniture polishes available today that have replaced the use of bee wax.

Spray Polishes or Aerosols

Though they are the handiest polishes they are the most damaging. They damage wooden furniture as they have silicone oils and other contaminants as their ingredients.
Some sprays damage varnishes and lacquers.

Liquid Polishes

These are easy to use as well. They are available in two types emulsion polishes and oil type polishes.
Emulsion polishes are waxes, oils and organic solvents in a water solution so that it can be applied easily on the furniture.
Emulsion polishes clean extremely well and leaves a nice shine on the wooden surface. But this effect lasts only till the liquid dries.
Oil polishes come in two types nondrying oils and drying oils. Oil polishes can be used as the final finish.
Nondrying oils like paraffin, lemon oil and mineral are less harmful than drying oils. Some oils remain on the surface it has been used. As a result dust and other contaminants stick to the wet oil surface.
Drying oils like linseed oil and walnut oil dry on the wooden surface by oxidation. This is a chemical reaction and over a period of time is difficult to remove.

Semisolid Polishes

These polishes are the best as the damage done to the wooden surface is minimum.They are commercially known as "Paste Waxes" and are very stable and do not cause problems like the other type of waxes.
Furniture conservators and other furniture experts use paste waxes. Good quality paste wax adds a shine to furniture and can also enhance the beauty of the wood by filling in light scratches, scuffs, and mars.
Applying this polish involves a lot of physical labor. Buffing wax is a strenuous job and better the quality of wax, greater the amount of buffing required. The extra effort is worth it as it is beneficial to the furniture.
As this polish is stable and durable it needs to be applied infrequently. Wax polish areas that are used very often once or twice a year and areas like the legs of tables and chairs, cabinets etc can be polished once in three or four years.
Wax should not be applied frequently as there will be a build up of wax that will look unattractive on a wooden surface.

Though it is easy to use liquid polishes they damage the furniture. It is better to make the extra effort and apply wax on the furniture, as it will benefit the wood.