7 Mistakes You're Making With Your Oak Table

A solid oak dining table is for life - not just for Christmas...

Once you’ve taken delivery of your brand new oak dining table, handmade in Italy by Conarte, the possibilities are endless. Dinner parties and dark winter evenings will never be the same again - or will they? Keep your beautiful new table looking spick and span with these important tips:


1.   Heat & Moisture

Anyone who’s owned a wood dining table will know that hot items and moisture can cause serious discolouration when in contact with the table - whether they learned the hard way or by hearing how someone else learned, well, the hard way. Wherever possible, you should not position your table in direct sunlight or next to a direct heat source (a radiator, for example). Furthermore, use placemats and coasters to prevent those nasty heat marks from forming.

2.   Covering With Cloths

You might want to cover your beautiful new dining table with a plastic cloth – but don’t say we didn’t warn you beforehand! Over time, covering your dining table can cause cracks to form in the wood. The occasional covering is fine, especially when you don’t want your new table top to become marinated in unsightly food detritus and wine stains, but thinking longer-term it’s best if you keep your table uncovered. And whilst we’re on the topic of cloths – make sure you dust your table frequently with a cloth that attracts dust rather than scattering it. Picky, we know…

3.   Unsightly Shading

Leaving objects on the surface of your oak table might be tempting. Anything will look great on your new table top – your favourite candelabra, for example – but not moving these objects regularly can cause uneven shading on the surface of the table, just as leaving a football on the grass in the sun will leave an ugly patch of starved yellow turf. If you have an extending dining table, you may also want to leave it extended for the first few months of use. This can help avoid shading in the same way.

4.   Not Stopping Spillages

It sounds obvious, but spillages can be the No. 1 thing that might blemish your new dining table despite your best efforts. It’s hard to avoid spillages, they happen - and most of the time, we can’t stop them from happening (unless we cover our table in a plastic cloth temporarily). So when that glass of red wine gets knocked over and its contents empty themselves over your treasured oak surface, you need to know what to do. If disaster strikes, remove the spillage immediately with a blotting action. It might help to have some kitchen roll handy – you never know when you might need it.

5.   High/Low Humidity

Extremes in humidity cause wood to warp and loosen the glues used to keep your beloved dining table together in one piece. Here at our Nuffield barn, we don’t really need to worry about that; it’s cold all year round (even when it’s warm outside). But in places where there are greater extremes in weather, precipitation and the like, it might be advisable keeping your dining table inside a carefully-chosen room where it can remain unaffected.

6.   Putting Off Polishing

If your oak dining table has a lacquered finish, you can keep your most prized possession looking as good as new by simply applying some polish with a clean, damp cloth. It’s simple, but many won’t. The appropriate furniture polish can be found easily at many large stores. But if you have a waxed finish…

7.   Watch The Wax

Over time, waxed furniture will fade and may become dry. It’s completely normal – and you can bring your waxed table back to life by simply applying furniture bees wax roughly once a year. Use a clean cloth and apply to the manufacturer’s instructions. The right colour selection is important, and wax can naturally change the finish of your table over time – but it will keep your table looking as good as new. Just don’t use furniture polish on a waxed table!