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The Art of Furniture Polishing: A Comprehensive Guide🪑

Furniture polish aids in dusting... right?! WRONG. Using furniture polish while dusting, or for dusting actually does the opposite of its intended purpose. But more on that later...😉

Today, we are talking all about the benefits of using polish, the different kinds of furniture polish, how to polish properly, and more!! We will be providing all kinds of key insights to ensure your hard wood furniture stays shiny and beautiful for years to come!🤩



  • It can help soothe dry or cracked wood furniture! Furniture polish contains natural oils that help penetrate the wood and replenish the lost moisture! If you don't polish consistently, the wood can become dry and brittle and become more prone to cracking and splitting.🙁

  • It helps restore the natural shine of the wood! Furniture polish leaves a glossy shine on wooden surfaces, enhancing their natural beauty. This shine can make your furniture look newer and well-maintained.✨

  • It helps the longevity of your furniture. The oils and (good) waxes in furniture polish can fill in small scratches and nicks, making them less noticeable. This can extend the life of your furniture and maintain its resale value!💰

‼️Many people believe that using furniture polish when dusting is helpful, it is the opposite. When you apply furniture polish often, and especially on a dirty surface (when it is dusty), it leaves a film and actually ATTRACTS dust to it. Meaning you will end up with MORE dust instead of less. Dust regularly and only polish when needed (after fully cleaning) on real wood to avoid build up.‼️


The Different Kinds

Not all furniture polishes are made equal! There are actually multiple different kinds of furniture polish for different materials and purposes. These are some of the main different kinds of furniture polish:

  • Oil-Based: Oil-based furniture polishes are great for deep conditioning wood and nourishing it. They are your go-to's for reviving dry and damaged wood. They are long lasting and provide a rich shine that will enhance the wood's natural beauty. And are especially great for darker furniture, as it will enhance the rich dark color! However, they can be more sticky and actually attract dust and dirt overtime, if not applied correctly or if too much is used. This type of polish also requires a lot more buffing to achieve that high shine!🛢️ You can find my favorite oil-based wood polish here.

  • Water-Based: Water-based polishes are a much more environmental friendly option! They have a low odor and aren't as sticky as other polishes. They are best for high use items (like bar stools or dining chairs), as they do not leave the same residue and don't last as long (so you won't stain your pants). However, they do not penetrate the wood as deeply as oil-based polishes and require much more frequent application to provide that protective shine!💧 Find my favorite water- based polish, here.

  • Wax-Based: Wax-based polishes create a much more durable protective layer on the surface of the wood! They can provide a rich, satin or matte finish rather than just a glossy finish. And they are suitable for both antique and modern furniture as they work well on various types of wood! However, these polishes often do require much more effort during application and they provide less deep conditioning compared to oil-based polishes! 🕯️ You can find my favorite wax-based wood polish, here.

When selecting a furniture polish, it is best to assess the type of wood you have, its finish, and any specific needs or wants you have! 🪵 Here are a few notes on assessment:

  • Type of Wood: Note what type of wood (ex: pine, mahogany, etc), if possible. Some times of wood require specific kinds of products or cleaning methods to be used when polishing. 🧽 (Ex: birth plywood or solid hardwood like walnut and mahogany should not use a Polyurethane (PU) wood polish)

  • Finish Of the Wood: Whether the finish of the furniture is stained, painted, or unfinished will help you determine what type of polish to use too. Some finishes may react differently to different kinds of polishes, so choose appropriately. 🤔

  • Coating On Wood: If your furniture has any additional coating on it, like a wax or resin covering, you will want to note that and also factor that into your decision making. For example, if you have a wax coating finish on your wood, you would typically want to use a wax based polish! 🧴

  • Your Needs/Wants Of The Furniture: Your needs of the furniture, and the desired look you want, also come into play here. If the item will be used a lot (ex: dining chairs), you will want to ensure you are picking a polish that does not rub off on guest's pants or become sticky. And determine if you want a glossy shine or a more mate finish, that will help you determine what kind of polish, as well! 🪑

If you aren't sure why kind of finish or coating it has on it from touching it, check the manufactures website or if you aren't able to, typically most water-based polishes will work for stained, painted, or natural wood furniture. So that would be the safest bet! *

ALWAYS follow the manufacturers instructions for best results for each piece of furniture you may have. And don't forget to test different types of polish on small, inconspicuous parts of your furniture before attempting to apply it to the entire piece!! 😉

*ALWAYS use polish or any cleaning product at your own risk, consult an expert and follow all manufactures instructions FIRST.


How To

  1. First, you are going to want to completely clean the furniture piece before beginning! Remove all dirt and debris from the surfaces with a duster or microfiber cloth. 🧼 If it requires a little more cleaning, use a barely damp (with water only) microfiber cloth and wipe WITH the grain to clean off any debris, dirt, etc. ALSO, remember to completely dry your furniture before beginning to polish to ensure you aren't trapping moisture and causing damage or mold!!

  2. Next, choose the right furniture polish. Refer to the section above for all the different types and picking the correct one for your furniture piece!⬆

  3. Shake the polish. If you are using a spray or liquid polish, make sure you shake it beforehand to ensure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.🤝

  4. Apply the polish onto your microfiber cloth, then apply the cloth to the furniture surface and wipe with the grain! Be sure you are covering all the surface area of where you would like polished!😊

  5. As you are applying, use a clean dry cloth and go over it immediately after, to buff it! 💪

  6. Continue this pattern of polishing and buffing until the surface feels smooth and glossy! But make sure that polish dries COMPLETELY before applying the next coat. Check for any excess polish or streaks on the surface and use a dry cloth to gently wipe it away.🤩

  7. Enjoy your new beautifully polished piece of furniture!✨


We hope this help you learn a bit about polishing your furniture! With a little bit of polish and work, you can completely transform your furniture and home! ✨ Go try it now on that piece of furniture you've been thinking about replacing, because it's looking a little dull and tell me it doesn't completely change your mind.😉

See you next week!

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