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How To Restore Oak Furniture

How To Restore Oak Furniture

Oak is well-known and respected for its long lifespan and durability but even this sturdy wood occasionally needs restoration and care. Fortunately, it can be easy to maintain and often needs little effort, or money, to do so. Here are some of the best ways to care for your oak.

 How Does Oak Get Damaged?

Like any wood, oak can pick up knocks, scuffs, stains, and burns and can be susceptible to changes in climate. Extremes in temperature can cause the wood to dry out or even crack and day to day wear can always happen.


The Best Finish to Use on Oak Furniture

Depending on what finish you’d favour on your wood, you can opt for either wax, oil or interior varnish. All of these will treat oak nicely, but wax will produce a far more naturalistic look whilst the others will have a more lustrous effect.

Restoring Damaged Oak

Restoration needs can vary quite dramatically depending on what damage the oak has sustained.



Surface stains can be relatively easy to resolve with the right preparation. Gently sand down the area which is stained with a soft sandpaper until you can no longer see the affected area. Once you are happy that the stain is gone, get a damp cloth and apply a layer of finish over the surface which you have sanded. Let this area dry, then wipe again with a damp clean, damp cloth to soften the surface.


Deeper stains may need extra work in order to lift the stains. A larger sander may be required to get deeper into the wood, and the entirety of the surface will need to be sanded to make sure the wood remains even. Once the stain is removed, apply finish to protect the surface.



An easy fix for smaller cracks is to carefully apply super glue and try to stick the crack back together. If this is successful, wait for the glue to dry and apply a chosen finish. If the crack is slightly bigger, wood putty can be used as it is thicker and has a greater hold.


A large crack will need wood putty as well as filler sticks. Insert the filler sticks into the crack and then fill in the rest of the area with the wood putty. Smooth over the area with a filling knife until level and leave the area for at least 12 hours to dry. Once dry, sand down the area and go over with a finish.


Keeping and Maintaining Oak Furniture

The best way to keep oak furniture is to be aware of the environment in which it is stored.

  •           Keep out of direct sunlight - too much sun will dry out the oak and cause it to crack.

  •           Keep in a temperate room. Oak needs moisture to hold itself together so it should not get too hot or cold.

  •           Ensure there is ventilation - oak needs to breathe so make sure space is left between the furniture and the wall to let air flow.

  •           Regularly treat the surface - ensure that the surface is treated every six to nine months as general use will wear the finish away over time. The treatment is used as a protective barrier to reduce marks and stains.

  •           Clean the surface regularly - use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface at least once a week to reduce the likelihood of stains or marks being left on it.


    Oak Furniture for Your Home

    Chiltern Oak has a wide range of premium furniture at low prices for the whole household. Discover our ranges of modern, chic and classic collections to suit any style or décor.