Look After Your Wood
The natural look is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. Wooden exterior doors, flooring, and skirting is attractive and stylish, and it can be pretty durable too; especially if it is looked after properly. Depending on the location and purpose of the wood, it will need different kinds of treatment and maintenance. Here is a quick guide to help you look after your wood.
Caring for Exterior Doors
External doors have to take a lot of punishment. They are exposed to extreme temperatures (both hot and cold weather can take their toll), wind, rain, and snow. Over time, this can lead to cracking finishes, rot, damp, and other problems.
If you want to make your natural wood door look luxurious and attractive, then staining it with a clear varnish is a good option. In addition to the base coat, you may want to to treat your doors with a top coat using wood oils at least once a year. These offer a natural, soft-sheen look, whilst acting as a good water repellent, and helping the door to stay durable.
If you choose to paint your door, do so when the weather is dry and mild. Try not to do the painting during the peak of the summer, as extreme heat and direct sunlight can make the paint dry too quickly, causing a poor and ugly finish.
Caring for Wooden Floors
Hardwood floors look beautiful when they are first installed, but they can quickly lose their shine. Gravel, dirt, and even soil from indoor plants can leave lasting marks on your floor. However, if you have someone in your home that has allergies, hardwood floors can help to keep them under control.
To care for hardwood floors, you should vacuum or dust them at least once a week (as well as immediately after any spillage or accident, or if a pet tramples dust through the room. Do not use normal household cleaning products, as these may damage the floor. You should also avoid mopping the floor with water (although a damp cloth is good), or using ammonia based cleaning products.
Instead, use specialist cleaning products, and tread your floor with wax or oil at least once a year. If your floor has water marks or shallow scratches, rub them with fine grade steel wool, wipe them clean, and then refinish it with varnish or oil.
Caring for Skirting and Architrave
The most common issues faced with bullnose skirting, architrave, and other generally cosmetic items, are bumps, dents, and scrapes. You can cover up deep holes and dents with multi-purpose wood filler. Once the filler sets, sand it down and then re-paint or sand the damaged area for an almost invisible finish.
You should dust your skirting boards regularly, and wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove lasting stains. If you decide to re-paint the skirting board, consider using sponges to apply the paint instead of standard paint brushes; this will provide a precise and even finish.
Guest post from Amy Fowler for UK Oak Doors; suppliers of exterior doors and bullnose skirting.