Ideas to Protect a Wood Table

Genuine wood furniture is a worthwhile investment that can last for generations if cared for properly.

Dining Tables

Taking steps to protect your wood tables from damage due to scratches, heat and liquids can allow you to preserve the finish and beauty of your tables for years to come.

A tablecloth is a great first step toward protecting your wood dining table. Vinyl tablecloths are great for everyday dining or for households with small children. Fabric tablecloths are often more attractive than vinyl, but linen, cotton or polyester blends alone are not heavy enough to protect tables from heat and spills. "Table pads are a worthwhile investment for valuable dining-room tables," says Martha Stewart, who recommends using a pad underneath a tablecloth to protect the table's surface.

Coffee and End Tables

Next to your dining room table, the wood tables in your home that take the most abuse are undoubtedly the coffee and end tables. Serving as impromptu dining tables, homework desks and game stations, coffee and end tables need special attention to prevent damage. Use felt or cork-backed coasters for drinks set on the table, and glue felt on the bottoms of lamps, candleholders or other decorative objects that have the potential to scratch the surface. Use trays with felt under them to hold remotes and other odds and ends that tend to collect on coffee and end tables.

Desks and Vanity Tables

The best way to protect wood desks and vanity tables is with glass or plexiglass cut to cover the tops. Glass or plexiglass tops protect desks from damage caused by inks, drinks and accessories, and they protect vanity tables from scratches and damage to the finish caused by cosmetics and hair sprays.

About the Author

A writer and information professional, J.E. Cornett has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Lincoln Memorial University and a Master of Science in library and information science from the University of Kentucky. A former newspaper reporter with two Kentucky Press Association awards to her credit, she has over 10 years experience writing professionally.