Don’t you just love the look and warmth that wood paneling provides?
If wood is cared for, paneling can add beauty and elegance to any room. Besides the charm of beautiful grains, one of the attractions of wood paneling and natural woodwork is that they require very little upkeep.
Generally speaking, the only maintenance required is simply dusting from ceiling to floor with a soft cloth or the vacuum cleaner brush.
You can make a good substitute for commercial wood cleaning products by combining:
1 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup of mineral oil
20 drops of lemon oil
Take care not to use olive oil, vegetable oil or any other nut type oil. Food based oils oxidize and go rancid over time and you’ll have an odor problem that will be difficult to remove. The addition of a little lemon oil adds a nice fresh scent. Shake it up well before using. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and lightly polish; then, use a dry soft cloth and buff to polish up a nice warm shine.
Dusting and Removing Soil:
Regular removal of dust with a soft cloth, or vacuum cleaner brush is all the cleaning needed for most wood paneled walls.
Occasionally, some soil may stick to the surface; usually where there’s a switch plate mounted. You’ll notice a darkening around the plate or there may even be smudges from sticky fingers. There are many commercial cleaners made for wood paneling that are available at home improvement stores. They come in the form of rub-on oils, sprays and waxes. Be sure to read the instructions, then test on a small inconspicuous area to be sure it does not damage the finish of the wood before starting to clean.
Using Oils, Waxes, and Polishes:
Natural wood oils may be leached out by dry air in an overheated home. Are oils, waxes and polishes really helpful in cleaning and protecting wood finishes?
Some manufacturers claim they are needed to preserve the wood itself. That might not be quite true. The finish is generally enough to protect the wood, and it is probably more accurate to say that waxes and polishes protect the protection!
Oil polishes may help preserve a finish by replenishing the natural oils. Some of these products contain ingredients that dissolve built-up surface dirt, leave a nice glow and a pleasant smell.
Wax polishes are useful as gloss-enhancers on low-luster finishes but do very little “shine-wise” for mirror-like coatings. A good wax polish spreads easily, doesn’t cause build-up, resists staining, spotting and smudging.
Most high-gloss mirror finishes require a different type of polish altogether than used on matte or hand-rubbed wood finishes. It could be silicone based, it could even be epoxy making the wood shine. In that case, just a quick damp wipe to remove the dust is all you need and adding additional polish or wax will not improve the appearance.
Now that you know how to properly dust and clean all your paneling, it is time to roll up your sleeves and get started! You will be rewarded with rich beautiful looking walls that not only shine, but smell clean and fresh. Happy cleaning!
Image Credits: jersey ice cream co. via design sponge