How to Protect Wood Tables

Updated February 21, 2017

Authentic wood tables are expensive, so you'll want to protect them. There are several ways to do this, depending on whether you want to cover it or just seal it from damage. However, providing daily or even weekly maintenance to your table will help keep it looking like new for a longer period of time. Caring for your table will not only protect it, but it will also minimise the appearance of minor scrapes or damage that may occur from daily use.

Seal the wood. If your table is finished, then this is not necessary. However, if it is a natural and bare wood, it should be sealed to protect it from damage. Use polyurethane specific for indoor wood and waterproofing to seal your table.

Protect your table by covering the surface with glass, plastic glass or a vinyl covering. All three types of covers can be made specifically for your table or found at furniture stores if your table is a standard size.

Use coasters, place mats and trivets for food items to prevent damage from day-to-day use. If using a metal or ceramic trivet or block, make sure they do not scratch the table by attaching felt pieces or cloth to the bottom of the trivets.

Dust your table a few times a week. Use a soft microfiber cloth or a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to clean up dust. If the table is not dusted frequently, particles can build up and eventually become permanent in the wood.

Polish and buff your wood at least three times a year. Use a professional water-based furniture polish specifically formulated for your type of table.

Using furniture wax is another option, but wax is more likely to leave a residue on the table. Use orange oil for everyday cleaning and lemon oil for heavier dirt and grime.

Use a clean soft cloth or an old clean sock to apply the polish when waxing and polishing your wood.

Dust before you polish and only use a small amount of polish at a time. Remember to clean off all residue left from the polish, as any excess residue may soak into the surface.

Keep your table out of direct sunlight or dramatic temperature changes, as this is damaging to wood. Wood shrinks and swells with moisture changes, so it needs to be kept in a consistent environment. Do not place your table by radiators, fireplaces or air conditioning units.




Never put anything hot or wet directly on your wood table.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Furniture polish or wax
  • Protective coverings
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About the Author

Krista Lee Childers has been actively writing since 1998. Her work, both creative and journalistic, has been featured in several school-affiliated publications including "Euphemism" and "The Indy." Childers' favorite subjects to write about are arts, crafts and hobbies. She received a Bachelor of Science in print journalism from Illinois State University with a minor in technical writing.