Caring For Oak Furniture

There is nothing quite like real oak furniture. An increasing number of people refuse to buy household furniture that is made of MDF or other engineered wooden; the trend leaning heavily towards authenticity and more importantly, quality.

Oak furniture is solid and it can add charm to any room. People love the homely look of real oak furniture, which is why many items get passed down from one generation to another. Not all oak is the same, something that is made from green oak, for example, will require different care to other types of oak and requires four years treatment before it is fit for use.

Oak Furniture

Image Credit: Lightsurgery

If you plan on getting oak furniture or if you already have some, this ‘how to’ guide will help you keep your furniture in the best possible condition.

Untreated Oak

Untreated oak may look great and homely, but if it’s left neglected for too long it will eventually lose its beauty. Sometimes oak furniture appears stained and that is due to the natural tannin in the wood, but this is usually green oak, which is most often used for garden furniture. If you buy oak furniture that has not been treated then it is reasonably easy to take care of as you can give it a good wipe over with a cloth that has been dumped with teak oil. You should never wipe down oak furniture with water.

Kiln Dried Oak

Some furniture manufacturers will kiln dry solid wood such as oak because it has a high level of water in its natural form. You should oil your kiln dried furniture about once every three months with teak oil or Danish oil. If anything is spilled you should mop it up with a cloth dampened in oil – do not use water. Oak is known as a live wood, because it can withstand the weather, which is why green oak is generally used for garden furniture.


When you clean your oak furniture use a clean cloth and stroke the oil in the same direction as the grain of the wood, you shouldn’t use circular movements as you might when dusting other furniture. If your oak furniture gets marked with something try rubbing some margarine or butter into the stain as this will at least minimize the mark.

Treating Scratches

One of the problems with solid wood furniture is that it can scratch and chip. If your oak furniture gets scratched, carefully add a few drops of water and let it soak into the scratch. Once the area is damp you should cover it with a clean, dry cloth and rub over it gently with a warm iron. If you are lucky then the combined actions with water and heat should ease out the mark altogether. Never place cups or plates on an unprotected oak surface but always use cork mats or coasters to protect the surface. Make sure that you place oak furniture in a place where it is not close to central heating or air conditioning vents.

Author Bio: Amy has joined us from solid oak door specialists UK Oak Doors to share her tips on how to care for oak furniture (and doors!) Amy has lots of fun handling the marketing for UK Oak Doors; some of her recent projects include creating a joke product page, and a comprehensive guide to door jargon.

Erin Emanuel