Determine the type of finish on the wood of your tansu. Gently rub a few drops of boiled linseed oil into the surface of the wood. If the wood absorbs the oil, your tansu has an oil finish. If the oil forms droplets that do not sink into the wood, your tansu has a hard finish.
Position tansu away from direct sunlight, heat, air vents and humidity, as these elements may dry out the wood, cause the surface color to fade, or cause the wood to expand and warp. Use a dehumidifier often to prevent the wood from absorbing moisture.
Dust the tansu to avoid dirt build up weekly.
Wash the surface of tansu annually with a damp washcloth soaked in a mild furniture soap and water solution. Rinse the soapy surface with a damp washcloth and pat it dry with lint free cloths.
Polish the tansu with a homemade solution that is two parts boiled linseed oil and one part gum turpentine. Rub the oily solution into the wood until it is absorbed and dry. Apply the polish every 4 to 8 weeks.
Polish a hard finish tansu using your choice of commercial wood polish. Select the polish according to how shiny you would like the wood to be.
Things You Will Need
- Boiled linseed oil
- Lint free cloths
- Furniture soap such as Murphy's Oil
- Gum turpentine
- Furniture polish
- Never place objects on the tansu without a protective layer on the bottom. This practice will prevent scratches and water stains on the surface.