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Rustic Shelves Preservation

bespoke furniture

Wood movement effect

Solid oak shelves are original and amazing addition to basically any interior that provides stunning look. Their design combines durability and long-lasting with ultimate raw-ish look. But to keep them in healthy condition they require special treatment. Preserver is essential for every solid wood product. Wood as living material, even if dried perfectly, is known of tendency to bow, crook, cup, twist or crack in low humidity environment. Wood movement is result of difference between the moisture content inside the wood and the moisture content of the surrounding air. In case of rustic shelves most common “movement” effect is cracking and cupping. Those negative side effects can be limited by correct preservation treatment.

Basic preservation

First of all, raw wood should be soaked with thin preserver to protect material against pests and fungus infection. If wooden product is designed to use in high humidity environment, it is recommended to apply water repellent to provide addition protection against water. Wood can be also protected against fire, this kind of preserver is known as flame retardant. It is highly recommended to apply flame retardant whenever wood is at risk of contact with open fire.

Oil selection

When wood is protected against pets, fungus, extreme humidity or fire it is time to apply final oily coat. Oil makes wood look fabulous. It brings out the beauty of the grain, uniqueness of the structure and very depth of the colour. Choice of correct oil depends on destination of wooden product. It is very important to keep in mind that surfaces which might get in contact with food must be treated with food-safe oil such as mineral, coconut, walnut or almond oil while the last two should be avoided if nut allergies are an issue. In any other cases oil products provide wide range of variety. For rustic shelves we recommend Danish Oil. This specific type of oil mixture prevents wood against basic exposure to heat, superficial scratches and stains. While many manufacturers use toxic solvents in mixtures it is very important to use oil containing only natural ingredients that are eco-friendly and non-toxic. You and your family’s safety is the most important.

Quick step-by-step

While preparation and all the theory might seem to be little complicated, oiling process itself is simple. Most commercial product designed for wood treatment (e.g. Danish oil, Teak oil) provide instruction. However in most cases steps are similar:

  1. Select appropriate product
  2. Clean off dust and dirt.
  3. Rub the oil in, slowly
  4. Wipe up excess oil
  5. Wait to soak
  6. Apply more coats if needed

    Few tips to keep wooden product in excellent condition
    • Minimize the wood’s exposure to both moisture and sunlight
    • Wipe off dirt often
    • Stain or paint regularly
    • Maintain good air flow

Remember those few tips to keep your wooden furniture in great condition for years!