The “Big Four” of the furniture woods Oak, mahogany, cherry and maple are often used in fine furniture for their durability, availability, and distinctive colors and grains. While there are more than 50 varieties of oak, English and French oaks are considered superior in beauty and grain pattern. Honduran mahogany is the only true mahogany and offers a magnificent grain. Cherry is a rarer wood, but features exceptional strength and color. Maple’s light blond color is well-known, along with its hardness, and variety of grains, including straight, curly, and bird’s eye.
Manufactured wood products People often wonder if furniture that contains particle or fiber board is inferior. The truth is, such products, when well-made, can produce a superior foundation for beautiful wood veneers, being nearly impervious to moisture, swelling, and shrinkage.
Left unprotected, most wood will succumb to the effects of its environment. The chief culprits in today's homes? Sunlight, physical abuse, and chemicals.
To combat these effects, a film finish (vs. a penetrating finish) actually offers the most protection for wood furniture.
The thickness of any finish and its effect on a wood surface are the keys to the protective quality of the finish system. Most high-end furniture manufacturers today use a nitro-cellulose lacquer finish. This system creates the deep, rich finishes that give well-made wood pieces their unmistakable luster.
To preserve a wood finish, many options are available. Furniture wax will provide a longer shine and more durable protection. But liquid polish is a better wood surface cleaner. Choose your method of care based on your lifestyle, the wear the piece will receive, and your preference in surface appearance.