With the Christmas season upon us, tis the season to get out the fine china, the heirloom silverware, and the ‘for special occasions only’ table linens. Great care is taken to set the table…as much care as is put into preparing the meal. Which is why a rogue water spot or heat impression in your beautiful solid mahogany table is such a disappointing sight to see.

There are ways to avoid mishaps such as candle wax, water stains, ghost impressions, and white spots.

"During the holidays, most people are busy getting ready for parties and buying gifts, unaware that they may be setting the stage for their favourite pieces of furniture to suffer costly damage," said Gina Moss, manager of technical training at the furniture repair and restoration company, Furniture Medic. "Some of the most common damages we see to finished surfaces during the holidays are actually avoidable, either by taking precautions beforehand, or knowing what to do as soon as you notice that an item has been damaged."

These are some of the most common furniture damaging culprits, with some tips on how to protect your furniture during the busy holiday season, and year round.

  1. Candles and oils: Who doesn’t love the light fragrance that a strategically placed scented candle or oil emits in a room? If these are on your decorating to-do list, make sure they’re kept on a tray or in a holder. This can help protect from dripped candle wax or spilled oils, as well as any possible damage from dye discolouration.

  2. Table decor and linens: You’ve decked the halls, and you want the table to be just as festive. It’s best to avoid using plastic or vinyl placemats, as chemicals in the mats can leave an imprint or ghost image on your table top’s finish.

  3. Buffet style dining: Ok, so your everyday table can only seat 6 (or a shoulder-to-shoulder 8), and you’re having 20 people over. This calls for a buffet, instead of the traditional sit-down dinner, but there’s no way your table can hold all the food. Whatever furniture pieces you turn into a temporary table, do use trivets, oven mitts - even dish towels - under any hot dish to avoid damaging white spots.
  4. Coasters: Go ahead and think your host or hostess is being a control-freak by insisting you use a coaster. Have you ever tried to remove a water ring from a table? Not necessarily impossible, but can be friggin’ expensive. Be a good guest. Use the coaster.
  5. The after-dinner clean-up: The meal was fabulous, the company was equally fabulous, and now it’s time to tidy up. Don’t leave damp towels, wash cloths, or even paper towels soaked in cleaning spray on your finished wood surfaces. Doing so could lead to permanent white spots and discolouration.    

For more expert repair and restoration tips, visit www.furnituremedic.com