1. How to care for your Fine Baker/McGuire Furniture

    Baker/McGuire craftsmen have spent hundreds of hours creating this fine piece of 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/McGuire 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 on your Baker/McGuire 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.

  2. Upholstery Fabric

    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.

    Down-filled cushions should be brushed rather than vacuumed. If possible, cushions should be reversed frequently.

    Select indoor/outdoor performance fabrics are 100% solution-dyed acrylic with a soil-resistant finish and come with a three-year warranty against fading.

    • Clean with a natural soap in lukewarm water. Sponge briskly and rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove dirt. Air dry.
    • Diluted chlorine bleach will not affect the coloration of the fiber and is therefore acceptable for stain removal. Chlorine, however, can eventually affect the strength of any fiber or cloth. We suggest a solution of one part bleach to two parts water. Thorough rinsing is essential.
    • Professional cleaning is always recommended for tough stains. Repeated washing may reduce the effectiveness of the soil-resistant finish.
    • To preserve the longevity of textiles/cushions, store indoors (or cover) during inclement weather.
  3. Leather and Rawhide


    Leather is a durable and practical covering. And because it is a natural product, it needs little or no care during normal use.  The leather we carefully select is minimally processed and softened. It will naturally exhibit markings and variations inherent in the material, making each piece unique and in no way should be considered a defect. The leather will develop a rich patina over time and use.

    • For spots and spills, blot excess liquid immediately with a clean, absorbent cloth or sponge. If necessary, use clear, lukewarm water and gently wipe the spill. Pat with a clean towel and allow to air dry.
    • For stubborn spots and stains, use a mild solution of Ivory® soap and clear, lukewarm water. Apply the soap with a clean, wet sponge, then rinse well and let air dry naturally. Always try the cleaning method in a hidden area first to be sure it is colorfast.
    • For butter, oil or grease, wipe excess oil with a clean, dry cloth, and leave it alone. The spot should dissipate into the leather over time.
    • Do not apply water to an oil-based stain.
    • Never vigorously rub a stained area.
    • Never use saddle soap, abrasive cleanser, soap, furniture polish oil, varnish or ammonia water.
    • Note: The preceding remedies are in accordance with general cleaning industry procedures. We cannot guarantee results, and we assume no liability in connection with their use.


    Rawhide is a natural material, and unlike leather, rawhide is untreated prior to the staining process. Innately, this material can expand and contract in environments that reach extremely hot or cold temperatures.

    • Clean rawhide with Pledge Wipes ® or saddle soap followed by leather moisturizer applied with a soft cloth.
    • Minimize application of liquids to rawhide bindings.
  4. Leather and Suede

    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.

  5. Natural Fibers

    Abaca is a rapidly renewable, environmentally-friendly resource

    • Wet spills should never be wiped; they should be blotted immediately.  Apply warm, soapy water to the stain with a clean, wet cloth. Blot with a dry cloth to soak up spills and water.  Repeat until area is dry and free of stain.
    • For dry spills, remove loose debris with handheld vacuum or standard vacuum with hose attachment.  Do not drag bristles or vacuum head across the surface as this will damage the weave.

    Danish Cord is a natural material created by weaving twisted three-ply paper material. 

    • Wet spills should never be wiped; they should be blotted immediately.  Apply warm, soapy water to the stain with a clean, wet cloth. Blot with a dry cloth to soak up spills and water.  Repeat until area is dry and free of stain.
    • For dry spills, remove loose debris with handheld vacuum or standard vacuum with hose attachment.  Do not drag bristles or vacuum head across the surface as this will damage the weave.
  6. Suede and Nubuc Leathers

    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.

  7. Cushion Maintenance

    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.

  8. Wood and Rattan Finishes

    Wood Finishes (Baker)

    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.

    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.

    Rattan and Wood Finishes (McGuire)

    Regular care and maintenance are the most important elements in the care of McGuire rattan and wood. Our recommendations for preserving the life of each rattan or wood piece:

    • Standard stained finishes may be cleaned with a soft, damp, lint- free cloth and dried immediately with another soft, dry cloth.  To avoid creating swirl marks, always wipe with long straight strokes rather than circular motions.
    • When dusting, do not use any product with an oil-based polish, or products that contain silicon as they can damage the finish.
    • Special care should be given to cleaning the rawhide bindings; application of liquids should be minimal.
    • Your McGuire furniture, like all woodwork, is subject to expansion and contraction with humidity changes. Moderating the temperature and humidity swings around your furniture will help to preserve its finish as well as its overall structure.

    Please note: Objects with protective feet made of rubber or plastic may contain a plasticizing agent that discolors or softens the finish when placed on furniture. Always use felt pads to prevent discoloration.

  9. Glazed and Painted Finishes/Surfaces

    Due to their fragile nature, painted finishes are only recommended for residential use.

    • For cleaning, use mild soapy water and then dry the piece immediately with a clean, soft cloth.
    • These finishes should not be waxed, as they may acquire an undesirable sheen.
    • Paint and glazes applied to woven peel, caning or bamboo surfaces do not adhere as well as they do to rattan or other hardwoods and some chipping may occur.
  10. Black Patent Finish (McGuire)

    • Due to its high-sheen, Black Patent requires extra care to ensure it maintains its luster.
    • To clean, first remove loose dust with a feather duster. Not doing so may cause small scratches in the finish.
    • After dust has been removed, clean with a soft, moist, lint-free cloth and dry immediately with another soft, dry cloth.
  11. Stone and Concrete

    Marble and granite are porous and will stain if left unprotected.

    • Food and spills should be blotted up immediately with a soft, damp cloth.
    • Clean with mild detergent and warm water, rinse with clean water and wipe with a clean, soft cloth. Never use abrasive cleaners.
    • If this is unsuccessful, repeat with white vinegar.
    • Regularly polish with a non-yellowing paste wax.

    Travertine and limestone are soft and may require additional care to maintain luster.

    • Pure water (pH neutral) or pure water with mild soap (Ivory®) is best for cleaning these stones.
    • Due to their chemical nature, acids may react with the stone, etching its surface.
  12. Concrete Tables

    Concrete is a durable material, used indoors and out.

    • Each cast concrete piece is unique, and variations will occur. Chipping and crazing will occur over time.
    • Tops are triple-sealed, oiled and waxed.
    • Care: Use bees wax at least twice a year or as often as desired. Clean with mild soap and water, use Bar Keepers Friend® or similar product for tougher stains. Apply wax after cleaning.
  13. Marble

    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.

  14. Metals

    Most metals are not intended for outdoor use or areas with high exposure to salty air.

    • To clean wipe with a soft, clean, damp cloth. Do not use any polishes, chemical cleaners, or abrasives as they may harm the finish.

    Hand Cast Brass will, over time, earn a few nicks and scratches and the tone will become richer.

    • We do not recommend using any liquid or other chemical product.  Only use a dry, clean, soft cloth to gently buff or dust the surface as needed.
    • The chemical patina on the surface is not a paint.  As such, any cleaning or rubbing should be done very delicately to avoid exposing the underlying metal.
    • If a sealer must be used on the piece to prevent frequent oxidation, we recommend Renaissance wax as it is intended for metals and will not affect, the color of the finish.  As with all chemicals, one should test it first on a small non-visible portion of the piece.

    Polished Nickel has a lacquered topcoat, which significantly inhibits the oxidation process of the finish.

    • To clean wipe with a soft, clean, damp cloth.  Do not use any polishes, chemical cleaners, or abrasives as they may harm the finish.

    Blackened Steel evokes a hand-forged look, lending itself well to wear.

    • To clean wipe with clean, soft cloth and Shine-up (3M product)

    Stainless Steel is extremely durable, stands up too many chemicals and resists corrosion.

    • To prevent rust, we recommend cleaning frequently with mild, soapy water and a soft cotton cloth.
    • Any discoloration or corrosion should be removed as soon as possible, to avoid permanent discoloration.
    • For tougher discoloration, use a stainless-steel cleaner with a Scotch Brite pad. Rinse surface thoroughly with water.
  15. Repoussé

    Robert Kuo repoussé pieces are finished in Antique Copper, Black Copper, Silver Plate or 24KT Gold Plate.

    • Cleaning solutions will alter the finish/plate.
    • Repoussé vases require a liner for fresh water arrangements.
    • Repoussé accessories and furniture will patina when placed outdoors.
    • For Antique/Black Copper finish: light application of Endust® (the non-wax dusting spray) with a soft, dry cloth.
    • For Silver Plate only: Gently rub with a silver cleaning cloth for silver plate.
    • For Silver/24KT Gold Plate only: Apply small amount of extra mild cleaning polish.
  16. Woven Resin and Aluminum

    Some outdoor collections are constructed of resin fibers expertly woven onto powder-coated aluminum frames.  Both woven resin and aluminum are low maintenance, extremely weather resistant, durable and long lasting.

    • Mild dish soap, and most non-abrasive household cleaners are good options for daily cleaning.
    • For weekly or monthly cleaning, to maintain the epoxy resin surface, use mineral oil, or Murphy’s Oil conservatively.
    • Too much will cause the surface to dull and become hazy.
  17. Bamboo Tables

    McGuire bamboo tables require little care other than regular dusting with a soft cloth. A light buffing with a soft, dry cloth will create a soft sheen.

    • For cleaning heavy spills and stains, use a mild soapy water solution on a damp cloth and then dry the piece immediately with a clean, soft cloth.
    • Special care should be given to cleaning the rawhide bindings; application of liquids to rawhide should be minimal.
    • Should a split appear on the surface of the bamboo, it will not affect the structural integrity of the table in any way. This is a natural reaction to temperature and humidity changes; tables are built around a steel base.
  18. Teak

    Teak reacts to the elements better than any other wood.  However, it will start to deteriorate after a season or two of neglect.  Most of our teak frames are delivered unfinished so that you may allow them to season.  The oiled wood will weather as it reacts, mellowing with time.  As it ages, it will discolor until, eventually, it turns silvery grey.

    • Once your furniture has mellowed to the desired color, you may seal it with a teak oil to maintain its color.  We recommend Deftoil Marine Teakwood Finish- Natural or Daly”s SeaFin Teak Oil, which can be purchased at most marine supply and some patina and hardware stores. 
    • During the outdoor months, teak frames should be periodically scrubbed down with a non-abrasive deterrent using a bristle brush and plenty of water.
    • Cushions should not remain on the teak surfaces for extended periods of time.  As teak’s tannins rise to the surface, they may stain the upholstery. Frequent wiping of the teak surfaces will minimize this.
    • In some climates, extreme temperature changes can cause the wood grain to rise slightly.  To maintain desired texture, lightly rub with fine sandpaper or steel wool.
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