Three Furniture Maintenance Tasks You Can Do Yourself

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Three Furniture Maintenance Tasks You Can Do Yourself

Furniture doesn’t always come cheap, particularly if you’re investing in high-quality pieces. To make your investments last, it’s important to look after your furniture carefully to keep it functioning correctly. On the other hand, you may want to take a piece of unloved furniture and give it a new lease of life to save money. It may be tempting to outsource these maintenance jobs to professionals or to friends and family with more experience than you, but there are plenty of maintenance jobs you can learn to do yourself. Here are three common furniture maintenance tasks you can try yourself.

1. Reseal wooden furniture

Solid wooden furniture is expensive to buy brand new so it’s vital you take care of good quality wooden items to avoid replacing them. Unlike wood veneer, solid wood needs special care because it can be damaged or stained by harsh cleaning products. For best results, wipe away dust with a damp cloth, then use a cleaner made from natural ingredients, such as homemade beeswax polish.

Gently heat one part clear beeswax together with three parts olive oil in a bain-marie. Pour the mixture into a container and let it set into a balm. Apply it to the furniture using a microfibre cloth, wiping it in the same direction as the woodgrain. Buff away any excess with a clean cloth then let the furniture dry. The polish creates a light coating to protect the wood and keep it looking its best.

2. Apply fabric protector spray to upholstered furniture

It’s estimated that around 30% of sofas and other soft furnishings contain high levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that are incredibly harmful to the environment when dumped in landfill. It can be tricky to know whether the furniture we have in our home contains POPs, but we can minimise our environmental impact by avoiding disposing of our sofas for as long as possible. The best way to do this is to take very good care of them.

Spills and stains on upholstered furniture can quickly make it look tatty and old. Using harsh cleaning products to remove stains can break down the upholstery and lead to it degrading faster. A great way to prevent stains is to apply a fabric protector which creates a clear barrier and allows to easily wipe up spills. Since fabric protectors come in spray bottles, they’re easy to apply. Just make sure to reapply as often as directed on the bottle, since regular use of your sofa causes the coating to wear off.

3. Oil hinges on cupboards and cabinets

It’s common for hinges on cabinet and cupboard doors to become stiff over time due to a gradual build-up of dust and dirt. Not only does this lead to an irritating squeaking noise, but it can also cause doors to get stuck or lead to permanent damage to the hinges. Make sure to give the hinges a quick wipe whenever you’re dusting cupboards and cabinets.

Periodically apply a lubricant to the hinges to keep them moving smoothly. Olive oil (surprisingly useful around the house), petroleum jelly and silicone spray all make great lubricants for hinges. Just be sure to wipe away any excess to avoid staining the surrounding wood.

Another great maintenance tip for cupboards and cabinets is to fix handles or knobs on doors that don’t already have them. Although cupboards without handles look minimal and modern, when fingers repeatedly touch furniture they can cause stains, particularly if it’s solid wood. All you need to attach handles is a drill, a tape measure, and a pencil for marking your drill points. You can do the same for chests of drawers that don’t have handles.


Teaching yourself these simple maintenance techniques can help you to save money in the long term by reducing the rate at which you need to replace furniture. Plus, you’ll develop handy skills which you can apply to other household repairs and DIY projects in future.

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