Kids can have nice furniture too
Like your kids, wood furniture benefits from loving care and feeding. Nothing ages and wears better than wood - that's why antiques are so expensive - but why rush things? Follow these easy tips to keep your kids beds looking like new.
Clean your room!
Kids need to learn how to clean, and their wood furniture is a great place to start. Any furniture polish is helpful. Some parents don't like giving kids aerosol cans, and for most furniture, a soft cotton rag (diapers are perfect) slightly dampened with olive oil, lemon oil, or plain water will do just fine.
First, don't soak the rag. You don't want the wood to absorb too much moisture, because the swelling might crack the finish. If there is serious dirt or stains, use a furniture cleaner first. Wipe in the direction of the grain to hide any potential scratches. Don't rub too hard: surface dust is made of the same thing as sandpaper. A soft, easy wipe should be plenty, especially if you make it a weekly habit.
Weathering the weather
Wood breathes like people do. It absorbs moisture in the humid summer and dries out in the arid winter. Too much variation causes hairline cracks in the finish. You've seen them: they look like a mosaic. Use your air conditioner in the summer and your humidifier in the winter to minimize extremes in humidity.
No surprise: sunlight fades and bleaches wood furniture, like it does to everything else. Proper room placement and judicious use of curtains will save the day. On shelves, headboards and dressers it helps to move objects around occasionally, so you don't get shadow spots where the sun don't shine.
Dings and scratches can't be helped, especially with kids beds. The ladder on bunk beds and loft beds gets worn, storage beds get chipped, and that race car theme bed doesn't always make Turn 4. Another benefit of wood kids beds is that they are easy to patch. Staining and varnishing small areas is easy, and it's amazing what you can hide with a little touch-up. Just follow product directions.
Kids will grow up and move on, but our kids beds are built to stay. Take good care of them, and they'll last until & (gulp) grandkids?