If you have just purchased a new timber dining table, here are some tips that may be of use to you.
1. Use coasters and placemats instead of a tablecloth
When water is spilt onto a timber surface, it can leave behind an unsightly mark which can be hard to remove. To prevent this from happening, a lot of people choose to cover their timber dining tables with waterproof tablecloths. Whilst this is an effective way to keep a table free from water marks, it does also somewhat defeat the purpose of investing in a beautiful wooden table, as the tablecloth hides the entire item.
If you want to showcase your new dining table, while still reducing the chances of it being damaged by water spills, it's a good idea to get into the habit of using coasters for your drinks and placemats for your dishes. These will act as barriers that will 'catch' any spillages that would otherwise land on and then stain the wood.
2. Be cautious when cleaning the table
If you want your timber dining table to remain in excellent condition, you must use the right type of products to clean it. First and foremost, you should avoid using bleach on the wood, as even a diluted solution of this chemical could cause severe discolouration, that you will only be able to rectify by re-staining the wood.
Secondly, make sure that the cloths or sponges you use to wipe the table are very soft, as sponges or cloths with abrasive fibres may scratch the wood. Thirdly, do not use vinegar to clean your table. Whilst this is a hugely popular DIY cleaning product, it is highly acidic and as such, may damage the texture of your table if it is applied to it on a regular basis.
3. Have the table re-varnished every once in a while
Every few years, you should arrange to have your timber dining table re-varnished. The reason for this is that in addition to adding a beautiful shine to a piece of wooden furniture, varnish also protects it from damage. Over time, however, the varnish coating on your table will deteriorate. Things like frequent spills, dramatic temperature fluctuations in the surrounding environment and excessive use of harsh cleaning chemicals may speed up this deterioration process.
If this happens and you do not have the table re-varnished, the timber underneath the varnish may be at risk of serious damage. For example, any water that you spill on it at this point may cause the wood to rot. Likewise, if the dining table is located right next to a window, and its varnish has deteriorated, the exposed timber may fade to an unattractive greyish colour as a result of being exposed to direct sunlight.
As such, if you want your new dining table to remain in perfect condition, it is worth getting it re-varnished every once in a while.