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Caring for Wood Floors and Furniture: Oil/Wax

Senior Editor
oil wax wood finish dresser
Photography by: Courtesy of Room & Board

What to know

These finishes soak into wood, creating a warm, natural luster (think mid- century Danish furniture). They’re also popular in low-sheen, old-world-style flooring, says Brett Miller, vice president of education and certification for the National Wood Flooring Association. Though a less protective option, they’re simple to maintain and repair.



How to care for it

Dust or vacuum on the bare-floor setting weekly. Wax once or twice a year: “That builds up a good protective layer,” says Eli Rios, owner of ECR Antique Conservation & Restoration Inc., in New York City. Buff monthly to renew the shine.



Troubleshooting tricks

Other oils and grease may be your worst enemies. “There just isn’t a good moisture barrier,” says Rios, and that affects upkeep. To remove stains, apply mineral spirits (refined paint thinner) with a clean, soft white cloth, then oil or wax the area.