About Catalyzed Varnish Finishes
Catalyzed varnish is the most commonly used finish in the high-end furniture market. When properly maintained, the beauty of your furniture’s finish will last for generations. To keep your furniture looking new, a few simple guidelines should be followed:
Do: Clean your furniture with warm water and a soft cloth. This is the best and easiest way to clean your furniture. Avoid using paper towel as they may scratch the surface.
Do: Be extra careful during the first 30 days you have your furniture. All our furniture is sealed with a catalyzed varnish. When you first receive your furniture, it is about 80% cured. It takes an additional 3 – 4 weeks of curing to reach it’s maximum protective state.
Do: Keep your humidity levels at about 40% – 45%. In winter use a humidifier, in summer use a dehumidifier or air conditioner. Wood is a natural product, so humidity can cause wood to move (such as gaping in the center of a table where leaves go.) If this happens, no need to be alarmed – the wood will move back with the correct humidity. Do: Dust your furniture often. Although microscopic, dust can be abrasive and excessive build up can mar the surface. If using a microfiber cloth, please check it for particles before dusting to avoid unnecessary scratching.
Don’t: Use any products with waxes, silicone or ammonia. Wax can cause buildup which will react poorly to moisture and heat. Silicone gets deep into the finish and prevents the wood from ever being refinished. Ammonia will soften and compromise the finish. If you’d like to polish your furniture for extra shine, we recommend Guardsman Clean & Polish.
Don’t: Put any extremely hot items from the oven or microwave directly on the surface of your furniture. Catalyzed varnish is tested to withstand temperatures up to 140°F. The average heat out of a microwave is 211°F.
Don’t: Slide items across the surface of your furniture – make sure to lift and move. Many dishes and cups have rough bottoms and could cause scratching. Using placemats and coasters can help protect the surface.
Don’t: Place items that will trap moisture directly on your table, such as pizza boxes or paper plates/paper towels with hot food on them.
If You Have Cherry Wood…
Please note cherry darkens over time. If the color of your new furniture is lighter than our in-store samples, be assured it will darken. Cherry darkens the most in the first month or so, and will darken quicker with exposure to sunlight. Avoid leaving items such as placemats in the same spot for too long during the first 30 days, as the wood around it may darken quicker. Also, if you store your leaves elsewhere they may be lighter than your table when put in. If this happens, no need to worry – the lighter spots will catch up and even out over time.