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Proper Care Of Antique Mahogany Furniture

A great deal of older or antique pieces of furniture are claimed to be made of solid mahogany. This beautifully hued wood comes from tropical locations around the world such as Cuba and Haiti, and during the time that most older furniture was made, it was extremely expensive to import. If you own a piece of furniture made from mahogany, it's important to understand its construction as well as its care so you can enjoy it for many years to come.


A lot of 19th and 20th century furniture that is said to be made of mahogany is actually covered in a thin sheet of the wood known as a veneer. Because mahogany is so high-cost, older furniture makers would simply coat other wood, even pieces of plywood, with mahogany veneer to give it the appearance of being made solely from this exotic wood. When humidity levels fluctuate, it can cause the mahogany veneer to grow and shrink, creating warps and cracks. It is important to keep this type of furniture in a climate-controlled environment to help keep the wood from warping as much as possible.


When caring for mahogany furniture, it's important to dust it on a regular basis. Hair and debris can build up onto the surface of the wood and when mixed with the oils from your skin, it can cause spots to form on the surface. Never wipe the surface with your hand; use a soft rag instead. Harsh cleaning chemicals should be avoided to preserve the wood's natural shine and patina. You can use a natural cleaning solution by spraying vinegar onto the surface of the mahogany and gently wiping it down. Apply a special wood protectant wax to your mahogany furniture that can preserve its natural beauty and protect it from spills or stains.


Even though mahogany comes from areas of the world that are bright and sunny, your mahogany furniture should always be kept out of an area with direct sunlight. Too much sun can cause the beautiful color to fade and create uneven, unsightly spots. Make sure you place your furniture in areas that are away from windows where the sunshine can hit it directly for long periods of time. It's also recommended that you only purchase mahogany pieces that won't undergo a lot of wear and tear, such as a bedroom dresser or decorative chair. If mahogany gets dinged or scratched from heavy use, it will need to be refinished or repaired by a professional to return it to its original, gorgeous glory.