How to Care for Pine Furniture [Cleaning & Treating Tips]

How to Care for Pine Furniture [Cleaning & Treating Tips]
Do you know how to clean your pine furniture and keep it looking at its best? This versatile, sustainable and affordable wood makes stunning furniture designs and is one of the most popular choices of all wood furniture types, but everyday family life can take its toll on your pine. Here we’ll take you through the best ways to care for, clean and treat pine furniture at home so it stands the test of time. So let’s get started:

How to Clean Pine Furniture

Cleaning pine furniture regularly and with the right products is essential for keeping it looking fresh and pristine from day to day. Pine is often used for dining tables and coffee tables and is therefore often varnished to make them waterproof. Depending on the type of pine furniture you have and whether it is varnished or not, there are slightly different rules for cleaning, so we’ve covered the common basics to help you care for your pine furniture properly. Here’s how to clean your pine furniture:

How to Clean a Pine Table (Varnished)

how to clean pine furniture varnished Varnished pine tables are easiest to clean as the varnish protects the raw wood from water and stains. However, certain measures should be taken to prevent stains from settling. Here’s how to clean your varnished pine table and a few additional tips for keeping it protected from stain damage:

You will need:

  • Damp, soft cloth
  • Washing-up liquid in warm water OR
  • Non-abrasive wood surface cleaner
Step 1: Mix a small amount of washing-up liquid into warm water with your cloth Step 2: Wring out the cloth until just damp and wipe the table down, making sure not to leave behind any sitting water puddles or droplets. Alternatively, spray a small amount of your wood surface cleaner onto your cloth and wipe. Step 3: Wipe again with a soft, dry cloth afterwards if any water droplets or any spots of cleaning solution remain

Tips for preventing further damage on varnished pine tables:

  • Mop up any food or drink spills immediately with a damp, soft cloth
  • Place protective mats or trivets beneath hot or frozen dishes
  • Use a padded or thick table cloth during meal times to prevent scratches

How to Clean a Pine Table (Non-varnished)

how to clean pine furniture bare non varnished Unvarnished pine is porous and therefore much more susceptible to damage both from stains and traditional cleaning methods. With this in mind, extra care and a few extra steps are required when cleaning:

You will need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Large bowl
  • Soft cleaning cloth
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Warm water
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Spray bottle
Step 1: Fill your bowl with warm water, add a squirt of washing up liquid and mix together with your cloth. Step 2: Wring out your cloth thoroughly until it’s just damp with no dripping water. Too much water will soak into unvarnished, unsealed wood and cause more damage. Step 3: Wipe your table surface with the cloth to remove surface dust and grime. If there are any stubborn stains you can use the abrasive side of a household cleaning sponge to tackle these. Make sure you scrub in the direction of the wood grain and don’t use anything too abrasive. Step 4: If stubborn stains remain, mix a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar with about 150 ml of warm water in a spray bottle and spray a fine mist of the solution onto the affected areas. Wipe this down with your cloth or sponge and then use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess to prevent soaking. You can use a 50/50 vinegar and water solution for any heavy cleaning.

How to Treat Pine Furniture

Once your furniture is clean it’s important to keep it treated and conditioned to maintain an attractive appearance. Again, this process differs between varnished and non-vanished wood, so here are our top tips on how to treat pine furniture.

How to Treat Pine Furniture (Varnished)

You should polish your pine furniture on a weekly basis, but make sure you use specially formulated spray polish for hardwoods as these don’t contain the harsh chemicals that can damage your pine. Aside from polishing, you should also treat your pine furniture at least once every 6 months to keep it in tip-top condition and prevent the wood from cracking or splitting over time. For varnished pine:

You will need:

  • Lint-free cloth
  • Clear wax polish for pine (e.g. Briwax)
Step 1: Run a duster or dust cloth over the surface of your furniture to leave the surface smooth and entirely dust-free. Step 2: Taking note of the instructions on your chosen wax polish, apply a generous amount to your lint-free cloth. Work the wax over the wood using circular motions to begin with, and then finish off following the grain of the wood ensuring you remove any excess wax in the process.

How to Treat Pine Furniture (Non-Varnished)

Bare pine needs to be oiled rather than waxed to keep it in good condition. Here’s how:

You will need:

  • Raw linseed oil
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Spare clean cloth
Step 1: Apply generous amounts of oil to the surface of your untreated pine furniture and use the cloth to work the oil into the wood grain by rubbing it back and forth. Raw linseed oil is best for treating your pine as it is natural and, therefore, will not contaminate any food substances it comes into contact with later. Step 2: Continue applying the oil until the wood no longer appears to be absorbing it. Then leave for 10 minutes. Step 3: After 10 minutes, use your spare clean cloth to wipe away any excess oil. You may need to repeat this process 2-3 times for the desired effect. Your pine should now look glossy and smooth.

Extra Care Tips for Pine Furniture

Aside from conditioning and cleaning your pine furniture, other factors like where you place your furniture can affect the condition and upkeep of your favourite pieces. Follow these additional tips to take extra care of your pine furniture:


Place furniture such as dining tables, chairs, coffee tables, end tables and sideboards away from areas of direct sunlight such as directly under windows or next to glass doors. This will help prevent your furniture from fading and drying out too much.

Radiators & Vents

Avoid storing or placing your pine furniture too close to radiators, heaters, fireplaces or vents, as rapidly-changing or intense temperatures can cause the wood to warp or split.

Candles & Ornaments

Place protective mats and coasters beneath candles and decorative objects when placing on your pine tables. The heat from candles can cause marking to occur and any dripping wax can be tricky and damaging to remove, while ornaments can slide around and cause scratching if the surface is not protected.

Coasters & Cloths

how to clean pine furniture protect pine furniture with table cloths and coasters Any coaster is better than no coaster at all, but those with wood and cork bottoms are more effective at absorbing moisture and preventing water rings. Use table cloths wherever possible to act as a stain and scratch barrier for your table.


When dust is allowed to settle for long periods of time it can cause staining and discolouration on your wood surfaces, so ensure you are regularly dusting your wood furniture on a weekly basis to prevent this unwanted build-up. Follow all these tips for caring for and cleaning pine furniture and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, long-lasting piece of furniture that you can enjoy for years and years to come. Have you got any pine furniture care advice you swear by? Share it with us via our social media channels below!

Article by Alex Tolofson