Product Instructions

Care Instructions for Shaker Workshops Cherry Furniture

Shaker Workshops Oil and Wax Finish

When you order assembled and finished cherry furniture from Shaker Workshops with an Oil and Wax Finish, we follow a centuries-old technique known to the Shaker furnituremakers themselves. For our Oil Finish, we have adapted an early 19th century formula employing linseed and other oils in a special turpentine base. The result is a finish which brings out the grain of the wood with a low-luster sheen and provides excellent protection. Over this, we apply our Paste Wax, which is a premium blend of Brazilian carnauba and other softer waxes to produce a clear durable finish. Our finishing process enhances the beauty of the wood and is also water resistant.

Spills and Condensation

In your home, spills should be wiped up promptly in order to avoid staining the wood. This is particularly important if alcohol is spilled, because alcohol is a solvent for the wax. We recommend the use of coasters if glasses placed on the table top are likely to become wet with condensation (as they might in the summertime).

Routine Care of Cherry Wood Furniture

It is fine to clean tables and other cherry furniture with warm, but not extremely hot, water and a gentle, but not abrasive, soap (we use Ivory Soap). Rinse and thoroughly wipe dry. Periodically, apply lemon oil or a good quality furniture polish to preserve the beauty of finish. Once, or perhaps twice, a year, apply a thin coat of paste wax to protect the wood.

Restoring the Original Oil and Wax Finish

One of the best features of an Oil and Wax Finish is that is very forgiving! If, after a few years of use, your finish has been damaged by alcohol, looks dull, or seems a bit uneven from the furniture polish and wax that has been applied, you can easily restore the original finish. You will find that paint thinner will remove everything down to the wood itself. No need to purchase anything fancy; the cheapest paint thinner will work. Use a coarse cloth (an old linen dishtowel is perfect) to apply the paint thinner and to wipe it off. No need to flood the surface, but do apply the paint thinner and wipe it off 2-3 times, so that all the finish is uniformly removed. Unless the furniture has some special problem, don’t use anything abrasive (avoid scotch-brite pads or steel wool).

When the old finish is removed, use Shaker Workshops Oil Finish followed by paste wax to replace the finish. There is an old saying in the furniture trade that you may wish to follow—“Oil once a day for a week, once a week for a month, and once a month for a year.” Each time, be sure to apply the oil finish generously, but wipe off every trace. It will seem that you haven’t applied any finish at all. Don’t doubt yourself; just keep at it. Then, when you’ve got the finish you prefer after a few weeks, or a few months, and only then, apply paste wax. You may find that you prefer the piece without the extra protection (and extra shine) that the paste wax provides.

14 South Pleasant Street
Ashburnham, MA 01430-1649