Summer may be upon us, however, protecting your timber furniture from the sun is an all-year-round commitment.UV can not only damage the appearance of your furniture, but it will also cause movement within your piece.
Timber swells and shrinks with changes in humidity, because the wood cells exchange moisture with the surrounding environment. Humid air will cause the wood to expand as the cells absorb moisture. In dryer seasons, the cells release moisture into the air, causing the wood to contract in size.
The main causes of damage in the light spectrum: UVA and UVB rays; heat radiation; and visible light. These result in fading, discolouration, damage and movement, and overtime, light could ruin your furniture.
At Artifex Interiors, we use our knowledge and expertise to minimise movement as much as possible when making furniture. We cannot control the environment the furniture will be set in, this is where you come in.
We are here to give you 4 great tips to help you protect your timber furniture from the sun and to give you the peace-of-mind you need to enjoy your stunning piece.
1. Blinds and curtains
In order to protect your Artifex Interiors piece from the sun, it is advised to minimise the UV rays from the space your furniture is placed.
A great solution is something you probably already have and use in your home. Blinds, curtains or window shades.
When you are not home, keep the blinds and curtains drawn. This will stop the UV rays penetrating your timber furniture and will also keep the room cooler, especially in warmer months.
When home, you want to enjoy the light and sun, we get that. If your piece is exposed to direct sunlight and it is a particularly hot day, it is best to close the blinds or curtains for that short period of time where possible.
Placement of your furniture is another important consideration.
Sometimes we don’t have a choice where the furniture is placed. The timber entertainment unit sits beside the floor to ceiling windows, east facing, capturing the morning sun, from sun rise to midday. The timber chest of drawers is placed below the bedroom window which is drenched with the afternoon sun from the West. We understand.
The positioning of your wooden furniture is a key factor when it comes to the severity of the damage caused by direct sunlight. Where your piece is exposed to direct sunlight, it can be helpful to turn the item every so often, if that works for the functionality. A dining table is a great example, when rotated, you can use it in exactly the same way. It may be harder with an entertainment unit, but something to consider.
Darker timbers like American black walnut will show evidence of fading more than lighter grains. This is something to think about when choosing the timber for a sun filled space. If you prefer a darker timber, maybe change the layout of the room every so often. Another consideration is placement of objects or ornaments on the piece that is sun drenched. Make sure you reposition these often, in conjunction with all of our other tips, to avoid obvious lighter surface marks where those items sat.
Where possible, avoid excess heat, storing in extremely dry areas, damp rooms and direct sunlight to help prevent wood cracking.
3. Apply a window film
A great alternative many of us are investing in, is a window film, especially if you have a view.
Films are among the best ways to pre-empt sun damage issues in your home. The best solar window films reject up to 99.9% of the sun’s harmful rays.
Newer window films are less reflective than they used to be as well as being optically clear, making them more attractive for use in the home. When windows are protected by this film, 99% of the sun’s ultraviolet light and 97% of the infrared light is blocked, while still allowing visible light to pass through.
This means you retain the feel and warmth of the natural sunlight without any of the damage to your wooden furniture associated with UV rays. The surfaces will no longer fade where the sun hits them, even when they are placed directly in front of a window.
This is a great solution.
4. Furniture protection and maintenance
Last, but certainly not least, is protecting your furniture with the finish of the timber and ongoing aftercare.
Polyurethane comes in both water and oil-based options, as well as satin to glossy finishes. It is long-lasting and extremely durable, protecting your furniture against scratches and abrasions. We always recommend you use extra protection like coasters and placemats, and never drag objects across the timber.
At Artfiex, your piece has a polyurethane finish to support our ethos, made to last.
With regular aftercare, we highly recommend using Mirotone Spray Glow.
A lightly perfumed, silicone-free furniture polish which has been specifically formulated to clean and protect both lacquered and un-lacquered wooden articles.
Spray Glow is suitable for cleaning and protecting any low gloss surface, including laminated bench tops and cupboards.
Another option is our Artifex Furniture Wax. An environmentally friendly wax polish, designed to clean, seal and protect while providing a protective heat and alcohol resistant coating.
Made from a blend of beeswax and tree oils, our furniture wax is a multi-purpose finishing wax that is both non-flammable, non-toxic and may be used on children’s furniture. Suitable for use on varnish, single pack lacquer, shellac and raw timber. This natural wax finish is designed to produce a low gloss lustre on teak or where the appearance of natural timbers is to be enhanced.
Next is Mirotone SprayLac Satin. Ideal for small touch ups of lacquered surfaces. A pre-catalysed, solvent-based, durable, clear finish which is ideal for the repair of scratches and surface defects on lacquered furniture.
As we have mentioned, sun exposure can be one of the most damaging elements on wood, causing permanent discolouration.
Today we have guided you through 4 important points for protecting your timber furniture, mainly from the sun. Window coverings, placement, rotation and protection will keep your piece in excellent condition for years to come.
View our Furniture Care page on our website to see our furniture care products today.