How do you protect the tops of your wood furniture?

ajc9September 9, 2012

Hello all!

Unique linens...or perhaps glass?

While I don't want to cover the beautiful wood, I also want to protect it...heavier used items like dressers or coffee tables.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this or see pictures!

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Coasters or books on end tables.
I have a glass coffee table.

Casual coffee table has polyurethane on it, so don't use anything.

Fine dining table, I use placemats. Don't have a table pad and I like to see the wood. (and don't like to iron tablecloths!)

25 years and so far so good. No damage on anything.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:16PM
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This is something I am very interested in as we are cleaning up today from my son's birthday party. Also, once wood has awater stain is there anything you can do to remove the stain?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:24PM
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Coasters on end tables...I keep a small stack either in a drawer in the table or on the the case of crystal ones with silver rims. Casual coffee table with a poly surface, dining room table, use place mats....and I do have table pads for holiday meals when I seat too many for place mats. Dresser is 55 years old and looks perfect but for the patina caused by 55 years of dusting.
I grew up with nice furniture, It's habit not to put a wet glass down on a table or a dresser without a coaster or something under it. The glass on my bedside table as a child always sat on a plate. The kitchen table when I was a child was varnished maple...mine as an adult is walnut.
And a good coat of paste wax goes a long way in protecting against stray drips.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:27PM
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I know the answer to the water mark...use toothpaste. The white kind like colgate. Rub in to the water mark, and then buff it out with a soft towel.

It will come out as long as the ring is still white and not darkened.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:30PM
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There are a ton of ways to remove water marks. Just google it.

The water mark is not usually on the WOOD. It is a chemical reaction to the finish that is OVER the wood. Most people have a ton of wax on their wood furniture. Wax is particularly susceptible to water marks. If water got through the finish to make a mark, then just about any type of cleaner will also go through the finish and remove the mark.

A completely unfinished piece of wood, or wood that only has stain on it, can end up with a water ring on it though.

The only protection I use is coasters and I don't always bother with them. BUT, I NEVER use wax on any of my wood. I raised 3 sons with most of the furniture I have today and there are not water marks anywhere.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:48PM
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First of all I have to say I do like 'patina' when my antiques come with it. However the one antique that came with a pristine top developed some scratches due to the decor I used last Christmas. When I discovered it I almost cried but simply used Restor-A-Finish and don't look at the scratches much! Really, how did it survive all those years in perfect condition and within a short period I caused some bad scratches? :( However if wood furniture develops a few scratches that's par for the material. For those who can't stand scratches on wood there are harder materials they can use.

My dining table top remained perfect as long as I used a quilted under pad and tablecloths. However I started using place mats and it's now developed patina. Oh well, it's 30+ years old and will eventually be replaced.

I only have one LR side table that has a glass top and I wouldn't use glass on every table/sideboard top. It would remind me too much of those awful clear plastic covers people used to use on upholstered furniture! Ugh! BTW even glass can develop scratches.

I've used coasters, vintage linen and lace runners, hand crocheted doilies, some burlap runners I made, or runners or placemats I usually use on my dining table. My coffee tables have patina altho I find the occasional use of RAF or stain and wax makes them look nice. I usually don't cover them altho have used rugs, an interesting small print table cloth, or a scrunched up embroidered silk piece I found at an East Indian shop.

Another thing I often do is arrange a vignette on a large silver or wooden tray which protects the furniture.

My style is changing and I'm not decorating with as much 'stuff' as I used to so more often am not using any table top protectors. I'm trying to get away from 'Granny-style' now that I am one! LOL These are all old pics.

This is a square Indian print tablecloth I use for fall decor on one of my coffee tables:

Here's a coffee table with a rug:

This is a vintage runner I often use on my black sideboard as much to provide contrast as to protect:

Norwegian Hardanger embroidery on my sideboard:

I've been known to go completely over-the-top and layer several crocheted runners and doilies and pile on the Easter stuff for the Grands!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:58PM
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We use coasters and cocktail napkins for glasses (sometimes) and trivets for hot dishes. I really don't use placemats or table cloths, and I've never used glass or table pads, but I've never had an issue. I do use those green felt dots on the bottoms of things that might scratch the wood.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 4:20PM
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We use Tervis tumblers for our everyday drinking. I LOVE THESE THINGS, and even give them as gifts.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:12PM
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I make sure that all decorative accessories have felt on the bottom. We use coasters. I use a felt pad under a tablecloth or placemats for dining. My dresser came with glass for the top. I've been thinking about having glass made for the top of the sideboard/buffet, but I usually use a tray there for coffee service which protects it pretty well.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:20PM
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I've had furniture glass made for the entry hall two-piece "credenza." It was pretty inexpensive at about $70 for the two pieces.

We just got a vintage coffee table and will probably also order glass for it. We are also very good about using coasters and just got a bunch of Tervis tumblers. They don't sweat!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:59AM
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I don't cover up stuff. While I love nice furniture, mainly antiques, we USE our things. I guess we are careful, or as someone else mentioned, we grew up taking care of things and have continued to do so. I guess we are easy on our things because we've not had a problem with things getting scratched.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:16AM
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For my kitchen table and bedside tables, I had a piece of glass cut to size. These surfaces are well-used and can be cleaned up with glass cleaner.I am not a doily person.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:50AM
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Our nightstands on each side of the bed are painted in chalk paint and I've been thinking about having glass tops cut for each of them since DH never remembers to use coasters. Even if there's a coaster on the table already he'll set his glass down right next to it sometimes without looking. Urgh.

One of our dining tables has a shiny black finish so I usually put placemats down when we eat at it. I also just bought a second dining set for our kitchenette but it was off CL and needs work so I plan to refinish it all and use heavy poly on the top to protect it so we hopefully won't need placemats or a tablecloth.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:21AM
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linens do not always protect furniture! years ago our cat knocked over a perfume bottle (that apparantly was not tightly closed!) that was on top of my bedroom dresser and the perfume marred the finish (even tho there was also a runner on the dresser)-- when i saw that i wished i had gotten a piece of glass cut for the top of the dresser!!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:50AM
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I'm pretty lucky - bedroom dresser/night stand both have travertine tops. Family Room side tables are mirrored, coffeetable/ottoman is being made and will have a leather-like fabric on it. No kitchen table (my last house I had a glass top. Dining room - I do not have it covered when not in use, when I use it I have a thick vinyl/fabric mat, then I use a tablecloth and placemats. It's my brand new table, so I do worry about damages, better safe than sorry.
My first dining set that my parents bought for me, I didn't have the mats yet and I set down a hot bowl of corn and boom, I had a mark on my brand new table! I try not to make those same mistakes anymore....

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 1:20PM
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Super helpful! Thanks for all of your replies. Beautiful pictures, luckygal;)

We just purchased new beds and dressers. One being for my toddler's room. I decided to go with high quality now instead of waiting until she's older which I hope I don't regret! I'm thinking about putting a glass top on top of her dresser...but wondered about the added expense;(. Is a very dark finish and 72" wide. I want it to last for a long time. The top is beautiful right now...I can just see it being a wreck in a few yrs if I don't pop glass on top. Hmmmm. Hers is a lacquer finish and ours is wax...I think hers looks like it would easily scratch while ours doesn't...

Anyway, thanks again, all;)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 2:40PM
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