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Caring for Custom Woodwork in Arizona: 4 Expert Tips

So you finally took the plunge and had a craftsman create that custom built-in. In Arizona, the dry climate can have quite an impact on that wood. Here are our recommendations for caring for your custom built-in, feature wall or custom wood furniture.

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1. Keep Decorative Items Moving

The sun’s rays are not only harmful to your skin, but they are also very bad for your custom woodwork. In Arizona especially, the hot sun is relentless; shining brightly through every window in your home (whether you like it or not). Given we live in the desert, it can be impossible to protect your custom built-in, custom kitchen cabinetry or custom barn door from these harmful UV rays. After all, you can’t readily move these pieces out of the sun! But one thing you CAN do is avoid uneven sun fading.

When you leave the same items (lamps, baskets, placemats, coasters, etc.) in the same place on the wood surface, the sun can (and likely will) cause mild yellowing and “bleaching” over the years. This can leave the area under that lamp base a darker color. To avoid this, we recommend moving lamps and other knick-knacks around frequently to ensure more uniform sun fading.

waxing wood

2. Dust Weekly with a Damp Cloth

You may feel compelled to clean and/or wax your custom wood piece often. You made a decent investment in beautifying your home and you don’t want anything to happen to it! But the truth is, your custom woodwork installation doesn’t need a lot of polish or wax to stay beautiful. Most of the time, all you need to do to clean a custom wood piece is wipe it down weekly with a soft, damp cloth (preferably 100% cotton) then go back over it with a soft dry cloth. This will remove the dust and keep the piece looking lovely.

3. Clean Monthly with Murphy’s Oils Soap

It’s a good idea to clean your custom wood furniture monthly to remove dirt the dusting leaves behind. Make a solution of one gallon lukewarm water and a capful of Murphy’s Oil Soap (this is more than enough soap – trust us). You’ll dip a soft, cotton cloth in the cleaning solution and then wring it out really well (it should feel just a little damp). Then, wipe down the wood furniture. This monthly cleaning will go a long way in keeping that wood masterpiece beaming for years to come.

4. Treat Yearly with Howard Citrus Shield Wax

The extremely dry Arizona climate can cause your lovely wood pieces to get too dry. That’s why we recommend waxing your custom woodwork once a year to help seal and protect it from the dry air. We really like Howard Citrus-Shield Premium Paste Wax for waxing your custom Arizona woodwork. It features a blend of Brazilian carnauba wax, beeswax, orange oil, and special surfactants to enhance the natural beauty of the wood grain. Always test first in an inconspicuous area before applying to the whole piece. You’ll apply a thin coat of this wax using a circular motion and a clean, soft cloth. Work in small areas; letting it dry up to 5 minutes before buffing the area with a new, clean, soft cloth. This will give your wood the protection it needs to make it through another dry, Arizona year.

There you have it – our 4 quick tips to keep your custom wood piece looking gorgeous for years to come.

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