How to Care for Your Wood and Iron Pipe Furniture

You've just finished assembling your new bookcase or hanging up your laundry room shelf - now how do you protect and maintain it? We have a few tips that are simple and effective that are essential to preserving the look and construction.

Wood shelf with dark brown stain color, a picture frame with black and white sketch and antique books sit on the shelf.
  • Avoid long term water or liquid damage by using coasters or napkins for drink and food items. Wipe spills or condensation rings quickly with a dry soft cloth or delicate paper towel.
  • Using drink coasters or placemats can prevent condensation from sitting unnoticed, which may create warping or softness that is more prone to damage.

    A green coffee mug sits on a black coaster on a wooden tabletop. A book is out of focus in the foreground.

  • For everyday cleaning, a dampened cloth will pick up dust without scratching the finish, as well as wipe away smudges or messes.
  • To add a slight water resistant coating, furniture polish such as Orange-Glo, Howard Orange Oil, Old English Lemon Oil, can give a repellant protection to oil-based finished wood. This means that if your order was stained with an oil-based stain color, it would be compatible to use these polishes for cleaning and protecting.

    Woman holding a soft yellow towel and a bottle of orange furniture polish wipes a table.

The black iron pipe and fittings are manufactured with a thick paint-like coating and oil because they are typically used in harsh environments for plumbing. We clean them throughly and remove these coatings to make them suitable for your home or office. Since they are now stripped of this protection, rust is the main concern when caring for your furniture.

  • Just like the wood itself, avoiding prolonged contact with water is the easiest way to keep rust from developing.
  • On bar tables with drink rails on the top, clean up any spills immediately and absorb as much as you can that may seep under the flange fittings that connect to the tabletop. You can remove the drink rail and reattach it easily if needed.

    Long brown bar table with metal drink rail.
  • For hooks and towel bars, a soaking wet item may be better suited to dry out first either on the shower curtain rod, shower door, or in your dryer machine. These can not only damage the furniture piece but also become stained from rusting while they dry on the metal.
  • The same oil-based polish used for taking care of the wood can also be applied to the metal components. This gives the same coating for water resistance and will clean, dust, and shine safely. Apply by spraying on a soft lint-free cloth and wiping the metal.

    Dark brown stained wood shelves with a metal pipe frame assembly.
We hope this post is helpful for building a foundation to understanding how to care for wood and iron pipe furniture and we will be sharing more posts with other tips and information.
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