57st. design

contemporary design | chicago made

Care + Maintenance

A little bit about our finishing…

We’re proud to hand-finish all of our woodwork. Why do we finish by hand? Two reasons: 1) nicks, scratches, stains, and other damage done to hand-finished wood can be fixed by anyone-- no woodworking experience required, no expensive products or machinery, and it only takes a few minutes. 2) Hand-finished wood is unparalleled in beauty.

Most of our work is finished by hand with a few coats of Danish oil and a final coat of wax. This is a traditional woodworkers finish-- it’s been used by woodworkers around the world for centuries, and continues to be the preferred finishing method of a number of master woodworkers. Hand-finished wood requires some special considerations…

What To Avoid

With hand-finished wood, there are a few things you want to avoid:

  • Hot Objects, such as pots just off the stove--put something under it before you drop it on the table!

  • Liquids, such as a cold glass of water on a hot day (condensation will leave a water ring), or spilled liquid. Try to wipe up spilled liquid as quickly as possible.

  • Overexposure to Direct Sunlight, which can--over time--bleach or otherwise discolor your wood.

  • Chemical Cleaning Agents, such as Pledge or Lysol or Clorox, will damage the finish on your piece. A damp rag will usually be good enough. (Just make sure you wipe away any excess water!)

Long-Term Upkeep

Danish Oil and Wax Finish

We recommend re-waxing your piece once every 2 years, or whenever the luster of the wood begins to wane. (Or whenever the wood looks “dry.” You may need to re-wax more frequently depending on the amount of use the piece receives.) The process is easy and should only take a few minutes. We've provided a detailed guide (PDF) on how to re-wax your piece below.


Other questions? Get in touch with us at info@57stdesign.com.

Danish Soap Finish

We recommend refinishing pieces with a Danish soap finish every 1-2 years. Refinishing is easy. Mix plant-based soap flakes with water and whisk into a froth. Then, with a dry rag, rub a generous amount onto the piece. Make sure to wipe away any excess soap after. Let dry for 1 hour. Once dry, rub the wood with 600-grit sandpaper until the wood is smooth to the touch. For a materials list as well as detailed instructions on how to refinish your Danish soap finish, get in touch with us at info@57stdesign.com.