Polishing a table top with aerosol wood polish.

Proper Wood Care Involves Applying Furniture Polish


There are many ways to help wood furniture look its best at all times. Besides keeping wood furniture out of direct sunlight, keeping it in low-moisture areas, not constantly spilling liquids on its surface, and not banging heavy objects on it, another way to keep it looking beautiful is to polish it on a regular basis.

There are people who believe that polish should be applied to their furniture on a regimented weekly schedule, but such a strict furniture polishing timetable may not be necessary or practical. Occasionally adding a coating of polish to your furniture will produce a thin layer of protection from scratches, and will also enhance the furniture’s existing finish. Polish is also often used as a cleaning aid.

What is “Build-Up”

Most furniture polish and furniture wax manufacturer’s stress that their products will not produce “build-up.” Build-up is caused by repeated and excessive layers of polishing materials placed on furniture that can create a dull appearance on the furniture’s surface. This phenomenon used to be common with products that were either not used correctly or were complicated to apply. Today’s furniture polishes, however, are generally produced with ingredients that make them easy to apply, wipe off, and buff, which drastically lessens the need to spend time stripping off old layers of polish before adding more.

Modern-Day Polish

Manufactured furniture polish that is sold in stores today is made of a combination of waxes, oils and other ingredients. There are different types of polishes that are designed to work best on varying types and colors of wood and specific types of wood finishes. No matter which specific bottle or container of polish is chosen, the overall roles of the polish are to accomplish a shiny surface, provide a thin layer of waterproofing, and make it easy to remove dirt and dust from the furniture.

Types of Polish

The two most common types of furniture polish are the type you can apply by spraying and the type you can apply with a cloth.

  • Aerosol: The type of furniture polish that is applied by spraying it onto furniture with an aerosol can is convenient, but this type has been enduring a lot of scrutiny recently because aerosol products are known to be environmental hazards.
  • Wipe-On and Wipe-Off: Liquid and paste polishes are the easiest to use and are usually the most highly recommended. They are applied by using a clean cloth to wipe on the polish, and another clean cloth to wipe off the polish and buff the surface of the furniture.


It’s important to test furniture polish on an area of the furniture that is hard to see before applying it to the entire piece, because there is no other way to tell how well the polish will work on your specific item. If the polish works correctly and produces your desired results in a non-conspicuous area, it can be concluded that it will be safe to use to polish on all of the furniture’s visible areas.

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