Baker craftsmen have spent hundreds of hours creating this fine piece of Baker furniture. Wood is a natural material with variations of color shade, configuration, streaks, and grain structure. Just as trees in the forest are not the same, each individual piece of Baker furniture has characteristics markings that will differ from photo and showroom samples.
Careful housekeepers of the Eighteenth Century followed Thomas Sheraton’s advice: “Melt some beeswax and, when ‘tis cold, make it up into a ball and rub it over with a polishing brush; labour it ‘til the luster be to your liking.” It is this “labour” that is responsible for much of the delightful patina to fine old pieces.
Sheraton offered this advice because he knew that the finest furniture in the world will deteriorate with neglect. His advice is as good today as it was then. Do not be afraid to use your Baker furniture, that is what is is for! When you place fine furniture into your home or office, give it the care it deserves. Careful and regular waxing is the most important element in the care of fine furniture. Each time you wax a fine surface you improve its effect and preserve the life of the piece. This is the best protection from permanent damage to a lacquer finish.
Other Tips to Help Preserve Your Fine Furniture Investment
Spills should be blotted immediately rather than wiped. If water stands on the surface there is the possibility that it will cause white marks in the lacquer finish. You can remove these blemishes by heating the area with a hair dryer and applying Endust while the surface is still warm. Follow by buffing with a soft cloth and re-apply paste wax if needed. If perfume or nail polish remover is spilled, do not wipe or blot it. The lacquer that has been softened by the chemicals should return to normal when the liquid has evaporated. Allow the area to dry, rub it with a fine automotive polishing compound, and apply a fresh coat of wax. If candle wax drops on your wood finished surface, hold an ice cube to the wax to harden it. Blot up the water, and use a dull plastic spatula to remove the wax without touching the wood. Gently scrape away any remaining wax, and rub the area with furniture wax to replace the protective coating.
Wood is a natural product. Sun bleaching will occur when wood furniture is exposed to sunlight. This will cause darker finishes to lighten and sometimes cause lighter finishes to darken. For this reason, try to avoid placing furniture in direct sunlight and rearrange accessories from time to time to prevent spot bleaching. Some bleaching will occur under both incandescent and fluorescent lighting. Arrange your furniture so that it does not sit near heat registers, air-conditionings units or radiators. It is important to keep the home or office in which your furniture is placed properly humidified. Lack of humidity, usually in the winter months or in dry climates, can cause certain veneers to crack or check, and joint to work.
Some plastic feet on computers, calculators, telephones and other rubber or plastic products, such as placemats, and vinyl notebook binders etc. contain a plasticizing agent that may discolor or soften the lacquer finish on fine furniture. Always use felt pads under these articles to prevent discoloration or softening of the lacquer. Articles such as glasses, bookends, flowerpots, and hot cups and dishes should have cloth or felt type pads on them. Beware of some felt pads that have a pre-glued side as some of these adhesives contain chemicals that can damage the lacquer. Always remember to lift objects rather than sliding them across the finish.
Arrange your furniture so that it does not sit near heat registers, any direct heat source or direct sunlight. Remember, even the finest furniture will deteriorate with neglect. Remember, when you put the fine furniture into your home or office, give it the care it deserves to preserve the life of the piece for generations to enjoy.
Avoid using silicone waxes, lemon oil, or other oily polishes. Your Baker furniture has a protective lacquer finish that most likely will not require any care other than dusting. However, on highly used surfaces we recommend applying a quality paste wax, such as Minwax Finishing Wax, which should be used on a regular basis to provide additional protection from scratches and spills. Minwax Finishing Wax is available at most home improvement stores. How often you apply the wax depends on how much wear the furniture receives. New furniture should be waxed after receipt. A desk or tabletop might be waxed at three month intervals, an occasional table at six month intervals. The sides and fronts of a desk, table, or chest may not need paste waxing.
Before applying the wax, your furniture should always be clean. For food type spills use a cloth or sponge which has been dampened in a mild, soapy water (without ammonia). For oily type smudges and build-up, a cloth dampened with Murphy’s Soap will suffice. Remember to follow the manufacturers’ directions when using a cleaner of this type. Dry the piece thoroughly with a clean, soft cloth. Apply a thin film of wax to the surface, working a small area at one time. Always rub in the same direction as the wood grain, then buff with a soft, dry cloth.
Between waxing, your Baker wood furniture requires dusting. For a surface that has been paste waxed use a moist, lint free cloth, and dry immediately with another soft cloth. A pre-treated dusting cloth that will attract dust without scratching the finish can also be used. When dusting a surface that has not been paste waxed we suggest using a cleaning polish that does not contain silicone, such as Endust. Silicone can damage the lacquers and make future refinishing very difficult. Lemon oil and other oil based polishes should also be avoided because they attract dust and grit, and cause a hazy film on the finish. When caring for colored lacquers, leather, Coromandel and Gesso type finishes, follow the same procedure as used for wood finishes.
Textured and brushed-painted finishes that have an eggshell sheen lacquer should not be waxed or polished, as they will acquire an undesirable higher sheen. For cleaning, use a mild, soapy water, and dry the surface immediately with a clean, soft cloth.
Baker marble is porous and will stain if left unprotected. Marble can be cleaned with a mild detergent and warm water, rinsed with clean water and wiped with a clean, soft cloth to assure no residue remains. If this is unsuccessful, repeat with white vinegar. Regularly polish your Baker marble with a good non-yellowing paste wax. Avoid using abrasive cleaners. Food and liquid spills should be wiped up immediately with a damp, soft cloth. Use coasters to protect your marble against rings caused by liquid spills.
Leather surfaces on Baker Furniture should be dusted regularly with a dry or slightly damp, soft cloth. Avoid using saddle soap or other cleaners. Leather desk and tabletops have a lacquer coating, therefore they can be lightly waxed. Suede surfaces should only be cleaned with a dry, stiff brush. Exposure to liquid spills should be avoided since suede cannot be washed or cleaned like leather.
All upholstery fabrics should be dusted on regular basis with a vacuum cleaner. Down-filled cushions should be brushed rather than vacuumed. If possible, cushions should be reversed frequently. When complete overall cleaning is required, it is recommended that only a professional cleaner do it.
All upholstery fabrics should be dusted on regular basis with a vacuum cleaner to prolong the life of the piece. Delicate fabrics should be brushed rather than vacuumed so as not to damage fibers. When a complete overall cleaning is required, it is recommended that only a professional cleaner do it. Blot spots and spills immediately. Spot clean only with mild, water free solvent or dry-cleaning product. Always pretest a small area first. Never remove cushion covers for separate dry-cleaning or washing, even though they do have zippers. Do not use bleach at any time. The use of steam or water based cleaners may cause excessive shrinking or staining of upholstery materials. Do not use any tumble method cleaning service as this may destroy the backing of the fabric or shrink the fabric. All fabric may fade over time. Wearability of fabrics is relative to the care and use. Cleaning by a professional upholstery cleaning service is recommended.
All upholstery pieces should be dusted on a regular basis with a vacuum cleaner. Delicate fabrics should be brushed rather than vacuumed so as not to damage fibers. Down filled cushions brushed rather than vacuumed so as not to pull out feathers. Seat Cushions should be reversed regularly, and left, right, and center sofa cushions should be rotated to achieve maximum wear. All back pillows and throw pillows should be rotated and fluffed every 1 to 2 weeks, depending on use to keep a luxurious appearance. Down-filled cushions should be removed twice a year from covers and left overnight to allow the feathers and down to decompress.
Leather furniture should be dusted lightly with a dry or slightly damp, soft white cloth. Avoid using saddle soap or other cleaners. For stains, clean the surrounding area with lukewarm water and a soft white cloth. If the stain persists, gently blot the area using a mild liquid detergent and a soft white cloth. Never vigorously rub a stained area.
Brush your Nubuc or suede leather pieces occasionally with a suede brush to vigorously fluff the fibers. Use a soft, slightly damp, white cloth when cleaning spills or stains, then immediately blot dry. Follow up with the use of a suede brush to fluff the fibers. Never use soaps, detergents or bleach. Never vigorously rub a stained area. Exposure to liquid spills should be avoided since suede and Nubuc cannot be washed or cleaned like other leathers.
Avoid using silicone waxes, lemon oil, or other oily polishes. Your Baker furniture has a protective lacquer finish that most likely will not require any care other than dusting. However, on highly used surfaces we recommend applying a quality paste wax, such as Minwax Finishing Wax to provide additional protection from scratches and spills. Avoid contact of wood feet to damp surfaces such as freshly cleaned carpets. Doing so can damage the wood or finish and possibly bleed the finish color into the carpet.