An Oil Finish on Our American Shaker Wood Furniture
Our American Shaker furniture has a hand-rubbed linseed oil finish.  How does that differ from a lacquer or poly finish?

When customers walk into our fine furniture showroom at Stonehurst they often comment about how much they enjoy being greeted by the natural fragrance of wood.  That doesn’t happen in all furniture stores because wood furniture is usually sealed with a protective coating like lacquer or poly which keeps the fragrance inside.  But an oil finish is porous, setting wood’s organic aroma free to permeate your space.  And it smells wonderful!  But there are certainly pros and cons to an oil finish so we try to make sure customers fully understand the differences before they make a purchase.

What We Love About an Oil Finish

Wood furniture with an oil finish develops a deep, rich color that cannot be obtained with other finishes that don’t penetrate the grain of the wood.  Only oil brings out the depth of color and beauty of the grain that natural hardwoods are famous for. Over time, an oil finish will develop a rich, lustrous patina that’s beautiful to look at and super-smooth to touch.  And a joy to smell!  Another advantage is: if your oil finish gets scratched it can easily be sanded and re-oiled (you can do this yourself with a little 0000 steel wool – see our Furniture Care instructions).

An Oil Finish Requires More Care

than furniture with a poly or lacquer finish, but many people feel the resulting appearance is worth the effort.  How often do you have to re-oil?  Many furniture makers suggest this thumb rule:  oil once a day for the first week, once a week for the first month, once a month for the first year and once a year thereafter.  Quite honestly, most customers are just too busy for that, especially if they have a house full of furniture to oil!  Some don’t touch their furniture for years, while others choose to oil it religiously. Obviously, the more you oil the stronger and more beautiful the finish, but we know many people who only oil their furniture when the wood starts to look dry and that seems to be just fine.

Another consideration with an oil finish is that it’s not as protective as poly or lacquer sealants.   We recommend that you keep a bottle of oil and  a 0000 steel wool pad (or equivalent synthetic sanding pad) handy so you can rub out water rings from drink glasses or smooth out the end grain of a wooden table top if it becomes rough due to variations in temperature and humidity.  Here’s a downloadable pdf on caring for wood furniture with an oil finish that Liz created for you.

Comparison of Different Wood Furniture Finishes

Have a look at our Furniture Finishes and Furniture Care pages for additional information, tips and advice on how to choose the best finish for your wood furniture.  Send us your questions on Facebook, give us a call or, better yet stop by Stonehurst to see, touch and smell the beauty of a hand-rubbed oil finish.

 

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Everyone loves the idea of having a solid wood custom Shaker dining table handcrafted just for them. What’s not to love? Pick your favorite wood, order the table to fit perfectly into your dining room…a handcrafted dining table, made especially for you by skilled craftsmen in Vermont who use sustainably harvested hardwoods. Add in free shipping and a lifetime guarantee and who could argue?

But if you have a small dining room or kitchen area, you might have some reservations. We can assure you that if you’ve been worried about finding a great round Shaker table to fit your small space, we have some wonderful options for you! These 3 Shaker dining tables are a handpicked selection sure to fit your unique dining room size. While most of our Shaker dining room tables are very customizable, the following picks are some of our favorites.

1. Custom Round Shaker Dining Table

"This round shaker table is available in natural cherry, maple or walnut woods."

Our eco-friendly Vermont-Made Shaker Custom Round Table is handcrafted in Vermont by skilled artisans. Customize this table to make it perfect for your home, it is available in a number of options! Currently on sale for: $1,562.40

 

2. New England Shaker Round Extension Pedestal Table

This sturdy New England Shaker Round Extension Pedestal Table is a great extension table for the kitchen, dining room, or as a game table in your family room. Hand-crafted using real, solid woods in America. Currently on sale for  $1,833.30. 

3. Classic Shaker Round Dining Table

 

Our Classic Round Shaker Dining Table features simple, modern tapered legs. Each table is handmade in Vermont by skilled craftsman using natural solid hardwoods and traditional joinery. Currently on sale for $939.60. 

All of our tables and chairs are made by craftsmen in Vermont from sustainably harvested hardwood. A great thing about our furniture is it is made just for you! As you browse our online gallery, you will notice that most of our furniture is shown in solid cherry wood, but be sure to look at the hardwood options! You can customize most of your furniture in your choice of natural Cherry, Maple, Oak, or Walnut woods. This allows you to create your own solid wood dining set that is perfect for you and your home.

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Do you dislike having your television as the centerpiece of your living room? If so, we’ve got a solution for you!

Retractable Pop Up TV

 Presenting the coolest piece of furniture you have ever seen.  No, it is not an ejection seat on a Bond-mobile or bed that rocks you to sleep, but, I can assure you, it is both stealthy and pleasurable.  I’m talking about our Retractable Pop-Up TV Media Center… the easiest and most stylish way to hide your TV.

Retractable Pop-Up TV Media Center 85" - CLEARANCE

 

Attach a Flat Screen TV up to 42″W to the hardware inside the media center and, with the click of a button, watch it rise of the entertainment center when you want to watch TV and then slowly descend back into it when you’re done! This now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t inspired media center features 85″ of pure media storage space or, for the smaller home, is also available as a 44″wide cabinet or bookshelf.  In Cherry, Maple, Oak or Walnut, this unit is slick enough for any man-cave and classic enough for the most traditional home.

If you’re not in the neighborhood or unavailable to see, touch and smell (if that’s your thing) the piece yourself, take a look at this exciting video which expertly captures the Retractable Pop-Up TV Media Center’s allure:

 

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Hardwood Blanket Chests for Storing Winter Clothes

If you are anything like me, winter time usually means an excess of clutter! Call me a hoarder, but my things give me comfort through the chilly winter nights. My jackets, scarves, mittens, boots, heavy knit sweaters, wool socks and handmade hats can usually be found scattered throughout my bedroom & closet throughout the colder months– but finally, we’re starting to see signs of springtime. And finally, I can start to pack up. As I started packing away some of my winter clothes this past weekend, I realized that I didn’t really have a good place to keep everything. Do I just stuff them into a drawer or into my closet? Should I shove it all under my bed and dig it out again come next winter? None of these solutions really worked for me, as someone who favors style and organization. After lots of deliberation, I found my solution: Blanket Chests!

Hardwood blanket chests are a great solution for storing your excess winter clothes! They look beautiful & are actually very versatile. While the images shown in this blog feature blanket chests used at the bottom of the bed, they can also be used as a coffee table or large side table1

My picks for 3 hardwood blanket chests that are perfect for packing away your winter clothes and blankets in style:

 

Contemporary Craftsmen Hardwood Blanket Chest
Quick Tip:  Rotate between seasons and store your bathing suits, flipflops and shorts during the winter, and your wintery attire during spring and summer!

1. Contemporary Craftsmen Blanket Chest: Our premium quality solid wood Contemporary Craftsman Blanket Chest, with it’s gentle curves and graceful lines is the perfect complement to your contemporary bedroom. Perfect for those thick winter blankets or extra sheets. All our luxury Contemporary Craftsman collection is handcrafted to order by Vermont furniture makers in your choice of solid cherry, maple, or walnut woods with a eco-friendly non-toxic oil finish that not only protects, but enhances the natural beauty of the wood.

Quick Tip: Add your favorite decorative pillows or cushions to your blanket chest for a chic and comfortable look.

2. American Mission Blanket Chest: The wood for our American Mission Blanket Chest is sustainably harvested right here in America. Store all your comforters in this stylish solid wood blanket chest. A very high end piece of mission bedroom furniture that will become a future heirloom in your family.

Quick Tip: To stay organized, use smaller containers for your items that need to stay in pairs (heavy socks, mittens, etc) and keep that container inside of the blanket chest!

 3. Vermont Made Shaker Blanket Chest: This luxury Vermont-Made Shaker Blanket Chest lifts open smoothly to store all your blankets and necessities in style. Each chest is eco-friendly, made from sustainably harvested woods and handmade to be heirloom quality. Ceder lined bottom and the lid stays where you leave it up.

Are blanket chests part of your spring cleaning and decluttering routine? If not, what do you use to store your winter excess? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments section of this blog! As always, we look forward to hearing your opinions. Stay warm and good luck with your spring cleaning, friends!

 

|This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios.  Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.|

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Sustainable Eco Friendly Furniture from Vermont
With yet another snowstorm on it’s way to Vermont, my mind is longing for Spring. How about you? Perhaps a few images of green grass and the birds and the bees (courtesy of Polyvore) will hurry things along?

In Vermont the seasons are still tied to production of wood furniture.  Winter provides the best opportunity for careful logging because frozen ground is less susceptible to damage.  And Spring begins a new cycle for forest stewardship planning– a process that ensures availability of wood for future generations.  At Vermont Woods Studios that process is led by Lynn Levine (our professional forester) who helps manage the 100 acre woodland that Stonehurst sits upon.  A woodland we’re using to help people understand where their furniture comes from:  trees that are sustainably harvested.

What is Sustainable, Eco Friendly Furniture?

Polywood all weather Adirondack chairs | Recycled plastic milk jugs
These eco friendly Polywood all weather Adirondack chairs are made of recycled plastic milk jugs.  Other marks of sustainability include green certifications, local responsibly harvested wood and use of non-toxic materials.

I just googled “sustainable eco friendly furniture” and came up with everything from IKEA (who was recently suspended from the Forest Stewardship Council FSC for illegally clear cutting 600 year old trees in Russia) to Pottery Barn (well known for  greenwashing campaigns like their eco chic collection). At Vermont Woods Studios  we’ve written a lot about sustainable furniture and how it’s defined.   Because we sell mainly wooden furniture we focus on responsible sourcing, green certification of wood, advantages of local and American made furniture, and the importance of recycled  and handmade furniture.  For examples of a wider variety of eco friendly furniture, check out the latest green furniture articles on Inhabitat.

Why Buy Sustainable Furniture?

“Every dollar you spend or don’t spend is a vote you cast for the world you want.” – L.N. Smith

A couple other reasons that come to mind include:

  • better health for your family (no exposure to the flammables, lead and toxic coatings that are often present in furniture)
  • less investment in furniture over the long run (sustainable furniture is built to last a lifetime so no replacements are necessary) and
  • support for local communities that produce sustainable furniture

Have some reasons of your own?  Let us know on Facebook or in the comments section below.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.