Your Care Guide

General Millwork Care

Your high-quality wood cabinets and millwork should last a lifetime when they are properly cared for through routine cleaning and polishing. You can keep your custom millwork pieces looking new by following these steps: Wipe the wood down with a soft cloth that has been soaked in warm water and dish soap. We also recommend using Murphy’s Oil Soap, which can be found, at your local household supply store. Wipe the cabinets in the direction of the wood grain, then thoroughly dry the wood with a clean cloth or towel. You should wipe stained cabinets and millwork down every two or three months with a wood polish such as Old English Furniture Polish. When applying a polish or wax to your millwork, spray it onto a towel and then apply it to the wood to ensure an even and thorough application. Painted millwork does not need to be polished.

Quick Care Tips

  • Kitchen cabinets should be cleaned monthly to prevent grease and food build up. In homes with small children and or high use areas cabinets may need weekly cleanings.

  • Turn on your kitchen exhaust fan while cooking on the stove or in the oven. The fan helps remove grease and dust that can damage the look and finish of wood cabinets.

  • Protect wood cabinets and millwork from direct sunlight by installing curtains or blinds on windows. The sun's rays can cause cabinet finishes to fade.

  • Always use handles when opening and closing doors and drawers. Dirt and oils from your skin can damage the finish.

  • Do not place kitchen appliances directly under cabinets. The heat from the appliances such as a toaster, coffee maker or toaster oven may damage wood cabinets.

  • Always use the bathroom exhaust fan while showering to prevent damaging moisture build up on wood cabinets and other surfaces.

Exterior Millwork Care

Doors, shutters, garden gates, pergola, trellis and other millwork It is important to maintain your exterior millwork to sustain its beauty. Wood is an organic material that has a tendency to absorb moisture from the surrounding air. Wood will not move unless the moisture content in the wood changes. When humidity levels are high wood will draw moisture and expand in width. When the humidity drops wood will lose moisture and shrink in width. Maintaining a good finish will help to seal the wood and keep an even level of moisture, thus reducing its movement. Every few years or possibly every few months, depending on exposure to the elements, exterior millwork should be repainted or a coat of varnish or oil should be applied. Ultimately, the determining factor in how much care your millwork will require is location. In Coastal areas, we advise cleaning hinges and surface areas on a monthly basis. For other areas with milder weather conditions, bi-annual cleanings are usually sufficient. If applicable, hinges and hardware should be cleaned and lightly oiled annually.

Exterior Door Care

Over time you may notice that your entry door sticks, creaks, or does not close as easily as it did when it was first installed. Homes tend to settle and shift over time, and the wood expands and contracts through changes in humidity and exposure to the elements. Therefore your door may need a few simple adjustments to make sure it is still plumb in the doorway and can easily open and shut. Repairing nicks, scratches or scuffs on a stained door A well lived-in home means there will be a few scuffs along the way. There are a few simple solutions to help maintain the beauty of your door. First you will need to clean the damaged area with mineral spirits or an all-purpose cleaner to remove dirt and oils. Then, use a small artist brush or cotton swab to apply stain to the nicks or scratches. Carefully wipe or brush off excess stain, let dry, and then apply a thin coat of the topcoat (Usually a Spar varnish) over the repaired area. Also, there are varieties of “touch-up markers” or repair pencils available that easily cover scratches or nicks in finishes.

Shutters

Whether natural wood or painted, they add beauty and character to any home. However, if neglected, your shutters will become dingy and dirty, and their beauty can easily be lost. In order to keep your shutters looking their best, routine cleaning and painting is essential. Spring is a good time to clean shutters. A thorough spray down with the garden hose will remove dirt and any trapped leaves from the previous winter. If your home is close to a road or highway, dirt and dust will tend to build up sooner and may require more frequent cleanings and refinishing.

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