Find answers to all the "Frequently Asked Questions" ranging from furniture damages, maintenance and methods on how to clean furniture and much more.

What causes the most common furniture damage?

Typically, damages could be caused by cleaning, environmental conditions, moving, and usage. You can maintain and prolong the life of wood and leather furniture, upholstery, and fixtures for many years with basic care, precautions, and attention to their preservation.

How does the environment affect wood?

Light Exposure – Furniture should be displayed and stored in an area with minimal direct sunlight. Exposure to light accelerates the aging and degrades the finishing, which results in cracks on wood finishes and darkens the paint.

Temperature and Humidity – Wood is a porous material that absorbs water. While high humidity levels cause wood to swell, dry environments cause wood to shrink. A humid environment accelerates the degradation of wood finishes, puts excessive stress on surrounding joints, introduces cracks on wood finishes, darkens paints, and lifts the veneer. The better the finish, the less moisture will be there. You can minimize the damage to wooden furniture by avoiding extreme temperature and humidity.

Recommended temperature and humidity are as follows:

Winter Temperature: 70º F

Relative Humidity: 35-45%

Summer Temperature: 70-75º F

Relative Humidity: 55-65%

Check out our services for Wood Repair Chicago Suburbs

What is the difference between wood grains?

Open-Grain Wood Finish – Looks more natural. Open pores remain visible and can be felt when a fingernail is lightly drawn across it. This finish is easier to maintain because it hides minor scratches and scuffs. Oak, Ash, and Mahogany are examples of deep texture wood.

Closed-Grain Wood Finish – Looks more elegant. Closed pores wood texture appears smoother to the eye and touch. Little or no resistance can be felt when a fingernail is drawn across it. It can be scratched or scuffed easily and requires careful handling. Maple, Pine, and Polar are examples of smooth texture wood and require less effort to achieve a closed-grain finish.

Both open and closed-grain wood can have different sheens, from flat to glossy.

How to clean wood furniture?

Perform routine cleaning of your wooden furniture and fixtures if the finish is in good condition and it is not flaking and does not have any lifted or damaged veneer, inlays, or gilding.


  • Remove the dust with a soft brush.
  • Clean the wood furniture with vinegar and water.
  • Mix half a cup of white vinegar with half a gallon of warm distilled water.
  • Dip the microfiber cloth into the bucket and then wring it out thoroughly.
  • Do not allow water to remain on the surface to avoid damaging the finish.
  • With a damp cloth, wipe in a circular motion.
  • Rinse the cloth when it becomes dirty or switch to a clean cloth and continue to wipe until the entire piece is clean.
  • Carefully use an absorbent sponge to blot excess water from the surface.
  • After the surface is completely dry, apply high-quality paste wax with a cloth.
  • After drying approximately 15 minutes, lightly buff with a microfiber cloth.
  • Wax should only be applied once a year to avoid heavy wax buildup.
  • If the finish becomes dull between wax applications, buff it with a cloth or shoe brush.
  • Avoid using cleaners that contain silicone products or Tung oil. They have proven to age poorly, dull, and darken finish with age.
  • If you need your furniture refinished, contact A Phoenix Art Woodworks.
Why refinish wood furniture?

Wood surfaces have many tiny openings that accumulate dirt, grime, and bacteria. The better the finish, the less moisture will be there.

A Phoenix Art Woodworks offers different finishes to meet all of your finishing needs.

Is my furniture worth restoring?

Changing the décor, renovating, and updating colors are inexpensive ways to breathe new life into old furniture. An accent piece can revitalize your room, giving it a completely different look and feel.

  • Do you like the style of your furniture?
  • Does it go with your décor?
  • Does it fit in your room? Is it the right color?
  • Is it well made? If it breaks, can it be repaired?
  • Can you easily replace it?
  • Would you like your furniture to look unique and distinctive, be easy to care for and durable?
  • Is there a sentimental value to the piece? Is it a family heirloom?
Will the value of the furniture be preserved or increase after repair or restoration?

We always recommend the option that will improve and maintain the value of your furniture. Before making repair and restoration recommendations, we take into consideration your furniture needs and desires.

Is this piece an antique?

Antique pieces are valuable because of their age, uniqueness, and longevity. They carry different meanings for each of us, whether you found them in your home or a local shop. Proper repairs should take into consideration the original finish of the piece and be unnoticeable whenever possible. In cases of fire, water, or moving damage, refinishing is required.

Contact A Phoenix Art Woodworks for your antique restoration needs.

What steps are used to refinish furniture?
  • Remove all hardware, doors, and drawers.
  • Strip old finish, neutralize, and wash furniture.
  • Hand sanding:
    • 1st time with 120 grit papers.
    • 2nd time with 180 grit paper.
    • 3rd time with 220 grit paper.
  • Wipe down furniture with a tack cloth to remove dust.
  • Fill in minor scratches.
  • Re-glue, tighten, and replace screws, if necessary.
  • Apply basic stain (1 – 4 coats depending on the color selected and wood species).
  • Apply seal coat to surfaces and hand buff entire surface.
  • Apply 1st finish coat and polish the entire surface.
  • Apply 2nd finish coat and polish the entire surface.
  • Apply final finish coat, “open grain.”
  • Clean, polish, and finish hardware.
  • Install hardware.
Is restoration and maintenance service available for office furniture?

Furniture is a major investment for your business and an expression of your professionalism. In the long run, it is less expensive to have a specialist maintain your office furnishings than purchasing new furniture. Restoration, refinishing, and maintenance services are essential to prolonging the life of office furnishings.

There is no reason to replace older office furniture if you are happy with the design. It can be updated by making small repairs, replacing missing parts, mending broken corners, touch-ups, leather repairing, textile cleaning, re-upholstering, and fabric protection.

A Phoenix Art Woodworks provides repair, restoration, and ongoing maintenance service for office furniture.

How to prevent destruction and prolong the life of leather furniture?

Leather furniture is known for its durability and regal looks. Unfortunately, leather is not resistant to staining, cracking, scratches, and tearing. To improve the color of your leather - remove stains, dirt, and dry spots. Professional preventative maintenance or repair services are required to keep leather furniture in the best condition. In the long run, it is inexpensive but essential to have your leather furniture professionally repaired.

If you have any questions, or repair concerns, call A Phoenix Art Woodworks

What is Upholstery?

New upholstery brings new life to old furniture. Changing the style, pattern, and color gives a different look and feel to your room. Our upholstery service includes:

  • Removing all nails, tacks, and fabrics.
  • Opening all seams and checking all joints.
  • Laying out new fabric, checking for flaws, and cutting fabric.
  • Inspecting frame, webbing, and spring.
  • Inspecting foam, down, and batting.
  • Sewing seams on new fabric.
  • Replacing Dacron wrap.
  • Installing new fabric.
  • Attaching welding or gimping.
  • Steaming fabric to remove wrinkles and set folds.
What can we do with your kitchen cabinets?

Kitchen cabinet restoration is faster and less expensive than total cabinet replacement and creates comparatively lesser disruption and mess. We offer different options to fit your needs and budget: cabinet rejuvenation, reconditioning, refinishing, and re-facing. You can save thousands of dollars and get more for less.