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Wood Maintenance & Repair

Keeping the wood around your home clean and beautiful is easier than you think.

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Simple Steps to Protect the Wood in Your Home

Do...

Clean your hardwood floors regularly.

Vacuum or sweep hardwood floors to remove dirt and grit, which can act like sandpaper on your floors and will wear down the finish.

Use floor mats.

Place rugs both inside and outside exterior doors for people to wipe their shoes.

Clean the outside surfaces of your kitchen cabinets often.

Grease and oils that accumulate around knobs and pulls will eventually soften and damage the wood’s finish. This can be prevented with frequent cleaning.

Don’t...

Delay making needed repairs.

Left unchecked, small problems can soon become large ones.

Allow water to remain in contact with wood.

When water is in direct contact with wood for extended periods of time, it will penetrate the finish and leave permanent stains in the wood.

Underestimate the bleaching power of the sun.

Close your window coverings during peak sunlight periods, and rearrange your furniture to prevent long-term damage.

 

Easy Wood Maintenance Tips

Hardwood FloorsKitchen CabinetsFurnitureMaintenance & Repair Kit

Hardwood Floors

Keeping your hardwood, laminate and pre-finished floors clean is the first step toward keeping them looking beautiful. Use Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner to remove dirt, grease, and grime from hardwood, laminate and pre-finished floors without leaving any soapy residue.

Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets seem to be a magnet for cooking oils, grease and food, especially around knobs and hardware. Over time, these deposits will soften and damage even the strongest of wood finishes. To prevent that from happening, use Minwax® Wood Cabinet Cleaner in the convenient trigger-spray bottle.

Furniture

Dirt, grime and perspiration on our hands does the same thing to the wooden arms of our chairs as cooking oils do to the knobs on our cabinets. Dusting products aren’t strong enough to remove this gradual build-up, so make it a point to clean your wood furniture regularly using Minwax® Wood Cabinet Cleaner. To avoid spraying Wood Cabinet Cleaner onto sensitive upholstery, squirt it onto a clean cloth rather than directly onto the wood.

Maintenance & Repair Kit

To make caring for your wood furniture, cabinets, trim and floors easier and faster, assemble your own Maintenance & Repair Kit in a plastic dishpan or caddy. Start with the Minwax® repair and maintenance products mentioned here, then add an assortment of fine grit sandpaper sheets, a few screwdrivers, a pair of pliers, some clean cloths, disposable gloves and a small can of Minwax® Wipe-On Poly for additional protection for your furniture. Keep your Repair Kit under your kitchen sink or in a nearby closet to simplify those last-minute repairs.

First Aid for Wood Furniture

Dark rings and spots:

Bleach out old moisture stains with chlorine bleach. Sponge bleach over entire surface around the stain, wait 5 to 10 minutes, wipe dry, then apply bleach to just the stain itself. The spot will fade as the bleach dries. Repeat as necessary.

Paint in pores:

Apply fresh paint stripper, give it time to work, then use a nylon scrub brush to get paint up and out. This process may have to be repeated several times.

Cigarette burns:

Scrape away blackened area with steel wool, razor or knife. Shallow burns will fill in while finishing. For deeper burns, fill with a mixture of wood glue and sanding dust. Put the mixture in, let cure, then smooth with a razor blade.

Dents:

Dents are the results of wood fibers being crushed and compressed. To raise a dent, simply swell the fibers back up with moisture in the form of steam. Place a damp cloth over the dent and hold a medium-hot iron on it. Check progress frequently, and be careful not to damage your finish!

Loose veneer:

To melt old glue under loose veneer, place several layers of paper between the veneer and a warm iron. When veneer begins to stick, apply pressure until glue dries. If no sticking occurs, regluing is needed. For a good bond, clean away any dirt and old glue before applying new.

Warped wood:

Wood warps when moisture loss on one side is greater than on the other. To straighten a warp, add moisture to the dried-out side. Place the wood cupped side down on damp towels in strong sun. Place some light weights on top of the wood during the flattening process.

Alligator hide:

This is the dried-out appearance that occurs when dry air and changing temperature and humidity cause crack lines in the finish. Dissolve the old finish with Minwax® Antique Furniture Refinisher, then apply a protective finish such as Minwax® Antique Oil or Minwax® Tung Oil Finish to restore luster to the wood.

Common Household Wood Repairs

Reviving Hardwood FloorsDisguising Nicks & ScratchesFilling ScratchesFixing Nail HolesRepair Damaged Wood

Reviving Hardwood Floors

To give worn hardwood floors a new lease on life, clean using Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner, then simply squirt on Minwax® Hardwood Floor Reviver, spread it out using a painter’s pad or a synthetic applicator on a long handle and let it dry. No sanding, no mess, no fumes. This water-based topcoat dries in approximately two hours and gives your floor another three to six months of beautiful protection.

Disguising Nicks & Scratches

Minwax® Wood Finish™ Stain Markers aren’t just great for doing furniture touch-ups. Use them to repair minor scratches on hardwood floors, stairs, railings, moldings and kitchen cabinet doors and drawers.

Each handy Stain Marker is color matched to the most popular Wood Finish™ stains. Any project stained with Minwax® Wood Finish™ Red Oak, for instance, can later be touched up using the Red Oak Minwax® Stain Marker

Filling Scratches

When more than just a little color is missing, use Minwax® Blend-Fil® Pencils to repair shallow scratches and nail holes in stained and finished wood such as your furniture, cabinets and wood moldings. Like Minwax® Wood Finish Stain Markers, the Blend-Fil® Pencils are available in a variety of popular colors to match specific Minwax® Wood Finish™ stain colors and many other wood stains.

Fixing Nail Holes

Nail holes left in furniture, hardwood floors and wood moldings are easy to disguise using Minwax® Wood Putty®. This tinted putty is available in the most popular Minwax® Wood Finish™ stain colors. Applied using either the tip of your finger or a screwdriver, it remains pliable and does not require any sanding afterwards, making it the perfect solution for perfections in finished wood surfaces.

Repair Damaged Wood

Minwax® High Performance Wood Filler is a super-strength wood filler that is ideal for interior and exterior repair projects—from small cracks to major repairs. It goes on like putty and hardens to a tough surface. When working with rotted wood, first remove any loose material and apply Minwax® High Performance Wood Hardener.

Expert Tips

Get Bruce’s advice on wood finishing, repairs and more!