6 Tips on How “Best Way to Polish Wood” Right and Properly!

Polish wood - How to give your furniture a fabulous shine! High-gloss wooden surfaces look very noble. If you want to provide a piece of furniture such a shine, you can polish it. You can find out more here how to do this and which wood surfaces are best suited for polishing!

The best way to polish wood – After a few years, you may have to polish the wood of furniture or floors again. The shine is lost over time due to dirt and wear. Therefore it is advisable to polish the wood.

But before you start, you have to know what type of wood you have in front of you, how can you polish wood?

The surface of a waxed wood can appear slightly sticky. Therefore, it makes sense to clean the surface before you start polishing the wood.

Furniture wax is getting recommended here. Oiled wood should also be getting cleaned of dirt and dust before polishing. Afterward, you can use oil (teak oil) to refine the wood fibers.

Pieces of furniture that have been getting varnished have a closed surface due to the varnish. Here you can help with furniture polish.

Let us examine more in-depth below about how to polish wood the best way!


A related video about “How to Polish Wood” here to watch.

Video Credit: Sikana English


Best way to polish wood

The best way to polish wood
The best way to polish wood – Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay

Rustic wooden furniture is still trendy. Wood gives the apartment its very own flair. However, solid wood furniture is not as hard-wearing as one might initially assume.

Depending on whether the wood is waxed, oiled or varnished, it sometimes reacts more and sometimes less to water, dust, and external influences.

With the following care tips, wooden furniture will remain beautiful for a long time, and with the right tricks, dents, scratches, or stains can be easily removed.


1. Which wood can be polished?

Which wood can be polished
Best way to polish wood – Which wood can be polished? / Image by Annette Meyer from Pixabay

Not every wood is the same. Pay attention to the wood type of your furniture before you start cleaning.

  • You can recognize waxed wood, for example, by the slightly sticky film on the surface. First, clean your waxed wooden furniture dry and then rub it with furniture wax in the direction of the grain.
  • Oiled wood is best getting cleaned with teak oil. Here, too, you should first carry out dry cleaning. Rub the oil also in the direction of the wood fibers and evenly.
  • Its closed and plastic-like surface can recognize painted wooden furniture. It would help if you treated this with furniture polish.

In principle, there are no restrictions concerning polishing. However, some can be getting worked better than others. Relatively quickly you have it with for example:

  • Walnut
  • Yew
  • Mahogany
  • Birch
  • Douglas fir
  • Cherry Tree
  • Maple
  • Ash
  • Peartree
  • Alder

Among the types of wood that are less easy to polish are spruce, fir, pine, and larch.

If your project does not involve the maintenance of existing furniture, it is best to choose a wood that is easy to polish.

Mahogany and cherry wood have a particularly shiny surface. If you want to embellish existing wood, polishing is possible on lacquered and waxed surfaces. 


2. Remove dusting wood off before polish

Remove dusting wood off before polish
Best way to polish wood – Remove dusting wood off before polish / Image by Jossué Trejo from Pixabay

Use a specific feather duster or cloth for dusting – but keep your fingers away from potent cleaning agents.

For regular cleaning of wooden furniture, dusting is usually sufficient, and this is best getting done with a dry cloth or feather duster. Please do not use a microfibre cloth – it can leave tiny scratches in the wood.

Despite all this, the surface can lose its color and shine after a specific time. Therefore, the furniture should be carefully wiped from time to time with a lint-free and moistened cloth.

However, this is only possible with waxed or oiled wood – otherwise, a damp cloth can quickly leave marks on untreated wood. The remaining moisture should always be removed immediately with a dry cloth.

If the wood is untreated and robust, you can also use a vacuum cleaner: A soft brush attachment makes it particularly easy to remove dust in grooves.


3. Remove heavy dirt before polish

Remove heavy dirt before polish
Best way to polish wood – Remove heavy dirt before polish / Image by MichaelGaida from Pixabay

Heavy soiling is best getting removed with a neutral soap, a sponge, and water. Finally, the wood must, of course, be thoroughly getting rubbed dry. 

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Microfibre cloths should not be getting used here either, as their structure can cause scratches on the surface. By the way, you should not use regular soap – soapy water can attack the surface of the wood.

Scrubbing milk is also taboo for cleaning. The tiny particles would scratch the wood’s surface during cleaning and cause more damage than they can repair.


4. Remove light-colored stains before polish

Remove light-colored stains before polish
Best way to polish wood – Remove light-colored stains before polish / Image by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay

For example, if you place a hot coffee pot on a waxed or darkly glazed surface, you risk a light stain on the wood. This stain is also usually not so easy to remove. 

The simplest solution to the problem is heating. It’s best getting done with a hairdryer. It would help if you held the hairdryer for a few minutes and a short distance from the affected area. 

After that, the stain will have disappeared. It sounds absurd at first, but it works.


5. Treating wood with furniture polish

Treating wood with furniture polish
Best way to polish wood – Treating wood with furniture polish / Image by ML Santander from Pixabay

Furniture polish is available in different versions, which you can also order conveniently online. Please choose the color of the polish so that it matches the color of the wood.

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  • Before you purchase, make sure that there are no dangerous toxins in the polish – this applies especially to dining tables and children’s room furniture.
  • After you have removed coarse dirt and dust from the furniture during dry cleaning, you can polish.
  • Pour the furniture polish liquid onto a dry and soft cloth. Rub the surface with it, but do not apply too much pressure.
  • A protective film is getting applied to the polish, which keeps dirt, water, and dust away.

Tip: We strongly advise against treating the wooden furniture with soap-based products. Scrubbing milk or various spraying agents is the literal death of any wood. The wood dries out much faster, and the shine disappears.


6. Polishing wood with household products

Polishing wood with household products
Best way to polish wood – Polishing wood with household products / Image from Pixabay

If you don’t want to get furniture polish from the hardware store, you can also produce a similar substance yourself. However, caution is getting advised. For example, you should give varnished real wood furniture a professional furniture polish.

  • Since woods are generally quite different, it is advisable to first try out the following tips on a small test piece. Choose a place on furniture that is not visible, such as the underside of the seat of a wooden chair. Observe the cleaned area for a few days before cleaning the whole piece of furniture in the same way.
  • Polishing with high-quality olive oil is an alternative. Use the oil sparingly and rub the wood evenly. Leave everything to soak in for a few hours and remove any residue later with a soft cloth. Also popular are mixtures of oil and lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Other household remedies include bamboo oil or linseed oil. You can also try cleaning oak furniture with light, warm beer.
  • Under no circumstances should you treat your wooden furniture with detergent, scouring milk, or other soap-based products. Otherwise, the wood will dry out faster and get dull spots.


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