Scared to touch those grains? Take proper care by following these easy steps.

By Amy R. Hughes
Annie Schlechter

Every week or so, dust with a gentle, nontoxic spray, such as Bona Cabinet Cleaner ($6, Spritz onto a cotton cloth, not directly onto the piece. For carvings and crevices, skip the feather duster (the stiff ribs can scratch) and use a clean cosmetics blush brush. To restore luster and repel water on any finish, rub on a thin layer of paste wax, which is a plant- and beeswax-based polish. (Try Briwax; $19, Wax frequently used pieces (like a coffee table) monthly and seldom-used items (like a guest-room nightstand) a couple of times a year.