Furniture Care

Table of Contents

Routine Care and Maintenance

Our furniture is hand crafted to stand the test of time. Follow these simple guidelines and you will continue to enjoy its appearance and performance for many years to come.

  • Use coasters, placemats and tablecloths to protect the finish.
  • A light dust with a dry, soft cotton cloth is suitable for day-to-day cleaning for all surfaces.
  • Blot up spills immediately with a damp cloth.
  • Only use the cleaning products specified in this guide for each type of finish.
  • Do not drag objects across finished surfaces.
  • Use protective felt on the feet or bases of objects placed on the surface to prevent scratching.
  • Re-treat waxed or oiled furniture periodically.
  • Do not place furniture in direct sunlight as this can cause the finish to fade.
  • Do not place furniture next to heaters, radiators or vents.

Hardwax Oil Furniture Care

Do not put hot mugs, plates or wet items directly onto the surface. We recommend that you use felt backed tablemats and coasters to protect the finish. Wipe any spills immediately with a damp cloth.

If the surface becomes marked, lightly sand the affected area and re-apply hardwax oil. Periodically recoat the entire surface with hardwax oil.

Finishing the surface from bare wood using hardwax oil

Sand the surface all over to a smooth finish.

  1. Caustic stain the furniture with a sponge. Start at the bottom and work upwards so that any runs drip onto already wetted areas. If caustic stain runs onto dry wood it will leave a stain. Please note: hardwoods such as oak may not require caustic stain, please contact Bespoak Joinery for further advice.
  2. Leave to dry.
  3. Using fine sandpaper, gently rub the furniture down to a smooth finish.
  4. Using a paintbrush, apply a thin coat of hardwax oil. Leave to dry thoroughly (anything from 6-24 hours).
  5. Rub gently over the surface with a very fine grade sandpaper until it feels smooth to the touch.
  6. Apply a second thin coat of hardwax oil.


Worktops may be pre-treated with caustic stain or left untreated; caustic stain will darken the surface. Hardwax oil must be applied to top and bottom surfaces.

Apply two coats of hardwax oil to the bottom surface of the worktops.

Apply at least three coats to the top surfaces. Be particularly careful that it is well coated in areas that get particularly wet such as around around tap holes and drainer grooves. 

The top will periodically need re-coating. The frequency will depend on how much water is left on the surface. Remove excess water quickly and never allow water to sit on the surface for any length of time.

Please note: hardwax oil provides excellent protection for normal use but not from careless use. Always place hot dishes and saucepans on heatproof mats to avoid marking the surface.

Wax Furniture Care

Traditional wax surfaces need to be treated with care and respect.

  • Do not place hot items directly on the surface.
  • We recommend using felt-backed table mats and coasters to protect the finish.
  • Do not put wet items directly onto the surface.
  • Wipe any spills immediately with a damp cloth.
  • We recommend applying a coat of wax every six months to refresh the surface to an original smooth rich colour.

Stain removal

Water or alcohol will cause white rings or dark patches if it is left in contact with the surface. Take particular care with vases, cups or glasses, where liquid can be trapped underneath.

Hot items will leave a similar stain, but the stain will usually go deeper. If the liquid has not soaked into the wood and left a dark stain, the problem may be rectified by one of the following methods:

  • Smear the white stain with petroleum jelly and leave for 24 hours. Wipe clean with a soft cloth. If the stain was on the surface, it should have been removed.
  • Alternatively, the stain can be burnished out by rubbing the white ring with a proprietary finish reviver/ring remover, or with a liquid metal polish on a soft, clean cloth. Burnish the rest of the surface lightly to get an even finish, and then finish with a coat of wax.

If the stain has penetrated the wood leaving dark patches, the mark can only be removed by stripping the surface back to bare wood, and bleaching the stain with oxalic acid.


Half fill a glass jar with warm water and gradually add crystals, stirring with a wooden spoon until no more will dissolve. NEVER POUR WATER ONTO OXALIC ACID CRYSTALS.  Leave the solution to stand for about 10 minutes and paint it onto the stain using a nylon brush. Let the wood dry and, if necessary, reapply. Wash the wood with water and leave to dry thoroughly. Sand the raised grain with fine paper before applying wax.


Oxalic acid is extremely toxic and must be stored out of reach of children. Always work in a well ventilated room, and wear protective gloves, goggles, and apron. In the event of contact with skin, wash immediately with clean water. Dispose of any remaining solution safely. 

Finishing surfaces from bare wood using wax

  1. Sand the surface all over to a smooth finish.
  2. Caustic stain the furniture with sponge starting at the bottom and working upwards, so that any runs drip onto already wetted areas. If caustic stain runs onto dry wood, it will leave a stain.
  3. Leave to dry.
  4. Using fine sandpaper rub down gently to a smooth finish.
  5. Using a paintbrush or soft cloth, apply an even coat of wax and rub in so there are no streaks.
  6. Allow to dry. The drying time varies depending on room temperature – from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  7. Rub wax in with a clean cloth, using the red cloth to remove excess. Make sure you go with the grain of the wood.
  8. Apply a second coat, leave to dry and rub off with the grey cloth or fine grade wire wool.
  9. Finally, buff with a soft clean cloth.

Lacquer Furniture Care

Lacquer is a clear durable finish that protects the wood while allowing natural colour and grain patterns to show through. It is very low maintenance and highly stain resistant. Lacquer is also brittle and can be chipped and dented; avoid impacts, knocks or dropping hard objects onto lacquered surfaces.

Surfaces can be wiped clean with a slightly damp cloth. Severe damage to the surface can be resolved with expert advice. Take extra care in the first weeks after receiving a piece of lacquered furniture as the lacquer could still be hardening.

Painted Furniture Care

Surfaces can be wiped clean using a cloth dampened with clean water. Never use chemical or abrasive cleaners. Ensure any water spots are wiped off immediately. Any water left on the surface could cause permanent damage to the surface.

Badly soiled surfaces can be washed with a solution of non abrasive detergent and warm water. Soak the cloth in the solution and wring out until nearly dry. Work on a small area, then rinse the cloth with water and dry the surface before continuing.

Laminate Surface Care

Wipe spills immediately with a damp cloth or surface cleaner. Never use abrasive cleaners or scouring powder as they will damage the surface. Avoid using waxes and furniture polishes as they will dull the natural shine and may cause discolouration.

Oil and fats can be removed with acetone or thinners. Once the oil or fat is removed, clean the surface with a cloth dampened in clean water. Finally, wipe the surface with a clean dry cloth.