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Welcome to Heal's
How to Care For Wood
Heal's furniture uses a variety of wood including oak, walnut, ash and cherry. Solid wood furniture looks great in every room of the house, in particular the dining room where there is a real nostalgic appeal to gathering around a real wood table. Wooden furniture looks great, ages beautifully and, if you look after it, lasts forever.
Oak: Oak furniture when new and unstained will naturally appear quite light, with a slightly yellowed hue. All woods however can have significant colour variation, from one piece to another, as with any natural product. All wood samples, should be taken as indicative of the wood and finish, however it is not possible to guarantee an exact colour match.
Over time, sunlight will cause the wood to darken and mellow throughout its life. Oils in the skin will accelerate this process, as such any areas which are regularly touched, such as handles, table edges or chair backs will gain a noticeably darker tint to the rest of the furniture. As such oiled oaks will naturally appear darker than lacquered versions.
Solid oak furniture may be subject to rough grain protruding from previously smooth surfaces, this is usually caused in humid conditions, and is indicative of water being absorbed into the wood and causing the grain to swell, this creating rough areas. This can also happen in areas where spillage has occurred.
Walnut: Compared to oak, Walnut will start off quite dark, especially the American Black Walnut varieties. Sunlight will cause walnut to lighten overtime, often bleaching into a light brown, with perhaps a slightly red tint to it.
In all other respects walnut will behave in the same way as oak above.
Cherry: Cherry is a wood that starts very pale, and can look very similar to both ash and oak when young. Over time, sunlight will cause cherry to darken and redden. Avoid placing objects on Cherry for a long period of time in a fixed position as this will mean the area which has been covered will remain lighter than the rest of the wood.
Ash: Ash behaves in all respects nearly identically to oak, the main difference is ash has a slight narrower grain. Again, as with oak, Ash will darken over time.
In all other respects Ash will behave in much the same way as oak.
Elm: Grey Elm which is sourced form North America (and used by Ercol), has a rich grain which makes it a fascinating and beautiful wood, especially in wide surfaces such as table tops and seats.
Elm is naturally hard wearing and lacquered finishes naturally darken over time.
Stained Wood: Some Heal's furniture will be stained versions of the woods above, usually Ash or Oak. The Parent wood will act as stated above, however the stain will add a little more protection to spills (but by no means will the wood become impervious to water stains). Staining also added a greater level of colour control between batches, however as the stain is still applied to a natural surface, there will still be some level of natural variation between pieces.
Finish: Unless otherwise specified, Heal's wood furniture is usually finished in a durable clear matt lacquer. This provides an easy to care for durable finish that doesn't compromise the natural beauty of the wood grain. Some of our wood furniture has an oiled finish - please see oiled wood care guide below.
Care: Solid woods, which are used in the making of Heal's furniture, may expand and shrink with differences in temperature and humidity. Take care not place your furniture next to radiators or anywhere subject to any excessive changes in temperature or moisture content. We recommend that all kitchenware and beverages should be placed on mats and any spillages should be wiped up immediately.
Cleaning: To clean the wood finish, wipe with a damp cloth and buff with a dry cloth. In the event of more stubborn marks, a solution of mild detergent should be used on the cloth. Silicone based polishes should not be used on the wood as they will build up and leave a sticky residue on the surface.
Finish: Some of Heal’s furniture comes in a pre-oiled finish. This oil finish is applied by hand and enhances the open grained appearance of the wood giving it a slightly darker matt finish than lacquer. This gives it more of a ‘rustic’ appearance. Oiled wood will retain a matt appearance over time. Heal's oiled furniture is finished with an Eco friendly Linseed based oil.
Care: The furniture will already have been pre-oiled but it is recommended that you apply an additional two coats of oil within a 48 hour period of taking delivery of the table. Furthermore we would recommend that you oil the table surface on a six month to yearly basis depending on usage to prolong the surface durability. Take care not to over-oil the table. Wax oil kits are available from any Heal's store.
Please note that these pieces of furniture are often made entirely out of solid wood and it should always be remembered that they should not be exposed directly to excessive heat or moisture. For instance, do not place your furniture immediately adjacent to radiators and in the event of any spillages, wipe up all liquids as soon as possible before the liquid has the opportunity to soak into the wood.
Cleaning: Do not use any wax or silicone spray polishes. In order to clean the table, simply wipe down with a soft, barely damp cloth to remove any dust. In the case of stubborn marks, a solution of mild detergent such as washing up liquid should be used on the cloth. Avoid the use of scourers or bleaches. In the event of severe spillages and stains the surface can be re-sanded and re-oiled. However it is recommended that you consult our customer services department or a professional furniture restorer before doing so (this method should only be carried out if the furniture is made of solid wood).
Never place hot items (e.g. casserole dishes straight from the oven, saucepans or hot chinaware such as plates or mugs) directly onto the table without using a heat resistant mat or trivet as direct heat will draw out the moisture in the wood and will leave a ring mark ingrained into the wood.