Care of VFD Furniture

Our furniture is finished with a Danish oil and wax. This requires a little more care than lacquered furniture, but the resulting appearance is worth the effort. An oil finished piece develops a deep, rich color that cannot be obtained with harder finishes that do not penetrate. The oil brings out the depth of color and beauty of the grain that only natural hardwoods can deliver. In time, the oil finish will develop a rich patina that is unique to this combination of materials.

When you choose to re-oil your furniture depends on the conditions in your home and your willingness to do this type of work. Some of our customers do not touch their furniture for years, while other choose to oil it frequently. Obviously, the more you oil the stronger and more beautiful the finish, but do not feel obligated to add additional applications unless you see the wood become dry.


We suggest that you do not use a furniture polish, dusting sprays that include a polish, or just any wax on your VFD furniture. While many waxes are compatible with the finish that we use, many will have to be stripped before more oil can be applied. Also avoid Tung oil finishes, as our linseed oil based finish will sometimes become blotchy when reacting with them.

It has recently become impossible to obtain the finish that we mix ourselves in small quantities to ship to owners of our furniture. Therefore, we recommend a commercial product that is almost identical – WATCO brand natural Danish oil and Natural Liquid Satin Wax. The Danish oil is available in most hardware and paint stores, and in large home supply stores. The wax is a little harder to find, and it may be necessary to order it on-line. Just search the web for the product by name.


Our furniture should not require additional finish when it arrives. It has been treated with several coats of oil and wax, and should arrive ready to be put into use. However, in some cases of extreme truck conditions, it may have dried out a bit, picked up some dust, or been rubbed by the packaging. In addition, if the trucks are unusually hot, some of the finish may seep back out of the wood pores and dry on the surface. The furniture is glass smooth when it leaves here, but it is possible that it may need some light work when it arrives.

When refinishing, the oil should be applied liberally with a rag, taking care not to drip any on carpets or unfinished floors. If there are rough spots, you will want to use very fine (0000) steel wool to remove them. Rub the steel wool lightly and with the grain while the furniture is still covered with wet oil. Then carefully rub dry. Do not let the oil dry on the surface, as it will become sticky.

Additional coats of oil can be applied as you deem necessary. Traditionally, coats are applied regularly for the first few months and then once a year after that. However, as mentioned above, that is not a requirement. The rich patina of cherry is enhanced by frequent oiling, and the final decision regarding how often to oil is yours.


Repairs are much simpler with an oil finish than with hard finishes, which might need to be entirely stripped and reapplied. Simply remove the damage by rubbing with 0000 steel wool, or, if that does not succeed, use a very fine (220 grit or finer) sandpaper with a flat wood block behind it. Once the blemish is removed, simply reapply the oil as many times as needed to bring the area to the same level as the rest of the furniture and then wax. It will take a while for the color of the sanded area to darken and match the unsanded sections.


1. Variations – our quality control allows blemishes, knots, and less than perfect color in places which are not exposed to view after assembly. These do not affect the soundness or beauty of the finished piece of furniture. There are also variations in the color and darkening of individual pieces of wood. We make every effort to match grain and color within each piece of furniture; however, we cannot guarantee they will match perfectly as they age.

2. Sunlight and Cherry – extra attention must be paid to the horizontal surfaces of cherry furniture. The darkening of the wood to the deep, rich patina we all cherish is an oxidation process catalyzed by sunlight. For this reason, objects placed on the surfaces of new cherry furniture will leave a shadow of light when they are removed. The surface under them, protected from both air and sunlight, will darken much more slowly than the surrounding area. Do not leave objects on the flat surfaces of new cherry furniture for prolonged periods of time. To correct a shadow, simply leave the area uncovered and the color will “catch up” to the darker surroundings. After 3 months or so, you may place objects as you please.

3. Humidity – the normal tendency of wood is to move with changes of heat and humidity. Especially with an oil finish, which does not seal the wood, the pores breath and try to take on the humidity level of the surrounding air. This means that the wood will dry in winter (heated air is drier) and contract; conversely it will take on moisture and swell in the summer months. We have designed the furniture to allow for these changes, and you will not find sticky drawers or separating joints. However, the changes may create small gaps in things like extension table tops, as they swell and contract more near the ends of the boards, where the pores are exposed.


Remodeling and Home Design
Quality Craftsmanship Creates Lasting Furniture

Vermont Furniture Designs

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4533 Burlington, Vermont 05406
Located: 4 Tigan Street Winooski, Vermont 05404
Phone: 802-655-6568
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