How to care for Chinese furniture

How to care for Chinese furniture

How to care for your Chinese furniture

When you invest in a piece of Chinese or Oriental furniture, whether antique sideboard or contemporary cabinet, it’s important that its authentic look is upheld. The Chinese antiques and reproductions of traditional Oriental pieces sold by Shimu have all been handcrafted by skilled experts. With a little bit of tlc, their stunning finishes can last a lifetime.

Chinese Ladies CabinetWhen it comes to carrying out cleaning or minor repairs, it’s essential to carry out the process with knowledge and care. But exactly how do you look after oriental furniture? We’ve outlined some helpful tips that may just make things easier when it comes to Chinese furniture care and maintenance.

Start simple with some dusting

One of the easiest things to do, but something that should not be overlooked, is to ensure you dust your Chinese furniture at least once a week. This will help to protect its finish and prevent dirt and dust from building up. When dusting, use a soft, dry cloth, or a slightly damp one for stubborn stains, to gently polish the surface. However, avoid using too much water as this can damage the finish. Always avoid abrasive cleaning products or chemicals.

Consider occasional waxing

Although frequent waxing is not necessary, you may wish to gently wax your furniture every few months or so. Ensure that only a high quality natural beeswax is used and never choose the cheaper ‘spray-on’ wax versions as this could change the colour of a lacquered finish. Gently polish in the beeswax using a soft dry cloth and buff until a sheen emerges.

Be careful of scratching

As the lacquer used on our Chinese Classical range is only light (so as to emphasise the natural wood grain), care must be taken to avoid scratching the surface. Don’t place lighting or ornaments straight onto the surface unless they have a layer of padding underneath. You can use decorative runners or textiles, or simply fit a soft layer of felt to the base. This will avoid scratches and scuffs and keep your prize Oriental pieces in mint condition.

Think about the positioning of the piece

As with all solid wood furniture, care needs to be taken to avoid dramatic temperature changes and direct sunlight. Exposure to the sun’s fierce rays can lead to drying out and shrinking of the wood. It will also mean the colour could bleach and fade. You should also avoid placing your oriental furniture near heat sources such as radiators or fires.

if you have any questions about the care of your antique or handcrafted Oriental furniture, please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice.

Asian style console
Take care of what you place on your sideboard and use felt or decorative runners to protect the surface.

Restoring Oriental and antique furniture

Chinese antique trunkOf course, any antique piece purchased from Shimu will already have been lavished with attention to restore it back to pristine condition! However, if you have a junk shop find or an unloved piece that’s been in your family for generations, you might be interested in our blog post of last year on Restoring and Revamping Antique Furniture. In many cases, you can bring an old piece of furniture back to life with minimal effort. Just be confident of what you are working on and its potential value before you begin.

Maintain the finish of original paintings on antiques such as this oriental trunk.


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