How to Care for Radiata Pine Lumber

What You'll Need
Radiata Pine lumber or furniture
Soft lint-free towels
Wood soap
High quality wood paste wax
Wood polish
Very fine steel wool mesh
Old soft towel or T-shirt

Radiata Pine is a popular natural softwood that is used in a variety of applications. Radiata Pine is used in cabinets and more commonly in furniture. Because it is a softwood, it can become easily damaged if not cared for properly. Therefore, this easy to follow how-to guide will show you how to properly care for and maintain Radiata pine. Let's get started.

Step 1 - Avoid Direct Sunlight and Moisture

Just like other types of Pine wood, Radiata Pine is sensitive to direct sunlight and should always be placed in a dry, cool location. Extreme heat or moisture can cause the wood to further shrink, which, in turn, may cause the wood to be weak or brittle. Also avoid placing Radiata Pine close to a radiator, fire place or other heat source. Choose a location where the temperature and humidity is fairly constant. Wide and frequent swings in humidity or temperature can cause the wood to crack as well.

Step 2 - Don't Use Common Type Detergents or Soaps

When cleaning Radiata Pinewood, only use high-quality wood soap. Common laundry detergent or other household cleaners may dry out the wood and cause it to become brittle or week. Also, when cleaning Radiata Pine, try to minimize the amount of water used. If possible, clean the lumber or furniture with a slightly damp rag or towel. Better still, avoid stains by using coasters or other items to keep the Radiata Pinewood clean. Dust often with a soft lint free cloth, rather than occasionally cleaning with soap and water.

Step 3 - Use Only High Quality Paste Wax

If you need to wax lumber or furniture made out of Radiata Pine, use only a high-quality paste wax. Although liquid waxes are more convenient and easier to use, they often contain many more chemicals that are potentially harmful to the Radiata Pinewood. More often than not, a quality paste wax uses more natural ingredients and will have a less harmful effect on the Pinewood.

Step 4 - Be Consistent with Polish

Before you apply the first coat of polish on a piece of lumber or furniture made out of Radiata Pine, consider the choice carefully. Whatever furniture polish you decide on, be consistent and continue to use that same type of polish. Switching back and forth between polishes used on Radiata Pine can damage the wood over time. Also, it will create a cloudy or darker appearance in the wood's appearance.

Step 5 - Repair Minor Scratches with Steel Wool

If Radiata Pine becomes scratched, you may be able to repair minor scratches with paste wax and some very fine steel wool. Use an old rag or T-shirt to apply a small amount of paste wax in the scratch itself. Then, lightly scrub this scratched area with the very fine steel wool. Finally, buff the scratched area with a soft T-shirt or lint free cloth. You may have to repeat the process a couple of times before the scratch seems to fade away.