When it comes to maintaining the beauty of a home, an eye for detail is especially important. Sure, regular sweeping and dusting can help a room stay bright and appealing, but for true cleanliness and charm, more focused efforts may be necessary.
In homes with wood accents like decorative carved moldings and carved wood onlays, careful maintenance is important not only for cleanliness and beauty, but for preservation. Without a few careful cleaning and polishing routines, your favorite traditional corbels and fluted pilaster could become worn and dull.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your home’s wood accents looking like new for years to come, read on. Here are four basic tips for cleaning and maintaining artistic and architectural wood details:
1. Make A List
Your cleaning and upkeep efforts won’t be as effective if you’re not applying them throughout your home. Before tackling any cleaning or restoration project, take inventory of your home’s wood accents with paper and pen. Make note of any decorative carved moldings throughout each room of the house, prioritizing areas that need the most cleaning or that have the most historic/monetary value. By creating a list, you’ll know where to start your cleaning project, and you’ll know if you’ve missed any important features.
2. Get Scrubbing!
For wood treated with synthetic seals, regular wood soap or polish should lift dirt without causing damage. Wood that has been treated naturally with wax should be cleaned with gentle oil-based wood soaps. Use a soft cloth to gently wipe away dirt, dust, and grime, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean smaller wood carving designs and scrolling details.
3. Use Your Own Natural Seal to Protect Finishes
After you’ve cleaned and dried your wood accents, consider protecting the wood with a coat of wax or oil. This step can help preserve the natural glow and color of the wood, and deter scratching and grime buildup over time. Simply wipe or smear oil and wax evenly across the clean wood’s surface, then wipe away the excess with a soft cloth.
4. Maintain with Regular Light Cleaning
After you’ve given wood accents a deep clean, you can help the shine last longer by performing simple, regular upkeep. Try to dust the wood frequently with a soft cloth. You can even use a vacuum hose attachment to reach unusual corners or to clean off the edge of wood moldings.
With proper care, wood features can last hundreds of years without rotting or wearing out. Since woodcarving is an art that dates back over 400,000 years, preserving any kind of wood accent is a great way to protect a piece of history. With these cleaning and maintenance tips, you can help your home’s decorative carved moldings and other accents stand the test of time.