This store requires javascript to be enabled for some features to work correctly.

How to Use Our Products

 

Furniture Care with Gilly's

Taking care of your furniture whether it’s the antique of tomorrow or your treasured family heirloom is crucial for its longevity. Choosing the right product is a big part of this but there are other aspects of care that need to be considered, whether your furniture is lacquered, French polished or waxed.

Sunlight can cause fading and drying of the timber. Place away from windows if possible. If this is unavoidable, try to close curtains or blinds at crucial times of the year. Temperature extremes can affect your timber furniture. Pieces should be kept away from radiators, fireplaces or under air conditioners.

Protecting your waxed furniture includes using coasters and mats to avoid placing hot and/or wet dishes directly onto your furniture.

Oils extracted from plants on application, complement the oils in the wood itself, adding lustre and enhancing the beauty of the grain. It is the easiest finish to apply, as with waxing, your piece is immediately ready for use.

One of the biggest benefits of using oil as a furniture treatment is that a little goes a long way — making it both beneficial for your furniture and economical.

Oil is great for intricately-carved timber, thirsty Asian hardwood furniture and for feeding unpolished surfaces, such as drawers and the undersides of tables. Buffing off with cloth wrapped over a clean, soft shoe brush helps prevent oil residue.

There is a common misconception that oiled furniture attracts dust. Sadly, this due to the historic use of linseed oil, which does tend to bleed back out of the timber, regardless of whether or not it was buffed after application.

Our Orange/Lemon Oil is a great penetrating polish, which moisturises the timber without leaving any residue. The active ingredient is a natural mould inhibitor so therefore ideal for furniture in humid areas. It is easy to apply and buff off, leaving a satin sheen and a wonderful aroma in your home. For an even richer feed, the other option is our Liquid Beeswax.

Waxing furniture is a practice that goes back generations. Beeswax based polishes provide nourishment and protection, along with a beautiful sheen if desired.

Furniture waxes/polishes are basically a blend of waxes and solvent. The solvent keeps the waxes soft enough to penetrate the timber during application. Once exposed to the air, the solvents evaporate leaving behind the rich waxes.

The Three R’s of Waxing

Although ideally with waxing, it is best to do several ‘light coats’ (rather than a couple or heavy coats because this can lead to a soft finish) you can use the piece straight away with care and ‘build’ the patina over time as you enjoy your furniture.

It is important to take a little more care of furniture with a naturally waxed finish. Whilst there is a little more maintenance the biggest advantage is that
it never needs to be sanded back again and most minor scratches and marks can be treated with another coat of wax. Wax also helps prevent a lot of scratches occurring as it has a slicker surface.

Leather lasts much longer than other upholstery and its good looks can not only be maintained but improve over time. Well-made leather furniture is an investment and a little care goes a long way in protecting it.

Most modern leather furniture has a protective coating of some sort. In the first few years of use, this should protect the leather in the early stages. At this point, keeping the leather clean is very important.

To clean accumulated dirt, use a slightly damp, soft cloth to wipe the surface. However, before doing this for the first time, test in an inconspicuous spot to make sure the leather doesn't absorb it. Use only a dry cloth if the leather seems to absorb the water.

For spills, immediately use a dry cloth to blot and let it air-dry. It is important to blot instead of wiping, as you want to get all the moisture out instead of spreading it. Leather can absorb dyes easily, so avoid placing printed materials on it. The ink can transfer and leave stains.

Never use harsh soap, cleaning solvents, detergents, or ammonia to clean stains. Never soak the stain heavily with water. All these methods may actually be more damaging than the stain itself. For grease stains, blot excess with a clean dry cloth. The spot should gradually disappear into the leather after a short period of time. In case it persists, ask a professional leather specialist to clean the leather to avoid any potential damage to the leather itself.

Watch out for scratches. As leather can scratch easily, avoid using sharp objects in its proximity. Gently buff the surface with a chamois or clean fingers for minor scratches on the surface.

Over time cracks may develop as the leather becomes worn in and starts to dry out. At this stage, it is wise to start applying some form of moisturiser to avoid hardening and further splitting of the leather. At this point, our beeswax-enriched Leather Care will be of benefit.

Clean your chopping board using either warm soapy water or if you want to go very natural, sprinkle some salt over it and scrub with half a lemon (nature’s antibacterial scrub). Allow the board to dry thoroughly.

Then, apply one of our Chopping Board Oils sparingly and work in well with a lint-free cloth. Wipe away any excess and it’s ready to use. For an extra deep feed, leave the first application on overnight to allow greater penetration. Wipe away any excess oil in the morning. Re-apply as the board becomes dull or dry.

We love timber/bamboo chopping boards. Plastic chopping boards can shed microplastics into your food, so consider making the switch to timber chopping boards. A nourished timber board will last for decades.

Floor Care with Gilly's


1: Sweep daily

The most important thing you can do to care for your hardwood floors is to sweep regularly. Dirt and grime will build up and create a dull finish and grit/sand can damage the finish, not unlike sandpaper as you walk over it.

Sweep daily, if possible and follow with a dry mop, or dust mop, to pick up remaining dirt. Microfibre mops are great for picking up very fine particles. If you can’t sweep all your floors daily, focus on the high traffic areas as they are most vulnerable.

2: Vacuum regularly

Vacuuming is more thorough than sweeping and should be part of your cleaning routine. The suction can pick up finer particles in cracks and crevices. Ensure you are using the hard floor setting, which avoids scuffing and scratching of the fittings designed for brushing carpets. You may consider purchasing a flat attachment specifically for the purpose.

3: Mop

Mopping is very effective, providing you don’t use too much water. Water allowed to pool can penetrate the finish and cause the wood fibres to
swell. A damp wipe is the way to go. Microfibre mops are very good for this as they don’t hold too much water. You can use a floor cleaner for this stage too; we don’t recommend any specific brands though. Not having to dry floors after mopping saves time of course, too.


Whilst very convenient, steam mops can allow the vapour to penetrate the small spaces in the floors and may cause damage.

4: Fix scratches

Floors can be quite easily scratched in a number of ways including vacuum head bristles, sand, grime and even pet hair!

Scuffs and scratches can be easily blended and disguised with our Scratch Cover for Furniture and Floors. Our Beeswax Filler sticks are ideal
for filling cracks and gaps in the timber. They need to be used on a raw or sanded surface for maxiumum adhesion. More information on the process can be found here.

For longterm protection, it is a good idea to use mats in high traffic areas.

Our penetrating and moisturising Floor Polish is perfect for developing a natural waxed finish on your raw or newly-stripped floorboards. Whether you have a dark or pale timber base, our beeswax-based Floor Polish is easy to apply and buffs to a moderate sheen. As with all wax finishes, you have the benefit of being able to repair and rejuvenate areas of high wear.

Maintaining your beautifully waxed floors is easy with our Floor Polish. Any worn, scratched and scuffed patches can be sealed in this way.

For laminated timber or bamboo floors that are scuffed or scratched, we recommend our Scratch Cover for Furniture and Floors. This product is ideal for disguising minor damage and feeds the bamboo or wood fibres at the same time.

If you have larger (than 1mm wide) gaps or cracks in your timber floors, they can be easily repaired using our Beeswax Filler Sticks. Ensure that the area has been well sanded so that the wax is able to adhere. Melt the stick and work the softened wax into the gap. Alternatively, you can rub the cold stick over the gap like a crayon but melting the wax will provide better penetration. Scrape back any excess to create a flush finish. The wax can then be sanded and coated with a variety of finishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

All of Gilly’s products are compatible, so the simple answer is yes. However, generally people oil or wax their furniture rather than both together. See this section about whether to oil or wax.

Yes. The natural waxes do breathe and moisture allowed to pool on the surface will penetrate. Fortunately, there is an easy fix if this does occur.

Water that has penetrated the waxed or lacquered furniture appears as pale or white marks. All you need do is lay a white or pale facecloth/towel over the marks and hold a clothing iron over the fabric briefly, checking frequently. Don't use the steam function. This effectively draws up the moisture into the fabric. Obviously, you need to be careful not to hold the iron over the patch for too long at a time.

Dark marks are not able to be removed in this way as they have penetrated the timber. This is usually a case for sanding back and refinishing.

Our Alfresco Timber Oil offers water repellence and UV protection and is ideal for outdoor furniture. Our Kitchen Bench Oil also offers water repellence and is food safe when fully cured. It is ideal for kitchen, bathroom and laundry timber likely to be splashed. The Pure Tung Oil also offers excellent water repellence.

Our Alfresco Timber Oil is perfect for outdoor furniture. It contains a UV protectant, which helps to slow down the process of sun damage.

None of our oils have any added tint or colour. They will make the timber

When dealing with raw timber, whether it is a piece you have had to strip back or a new creation, your first step is to feed the dry wood. We recommend a sanding sealer before applying any of our products, particularly with the more porous timbers.

Three Steps to a Waxed
Finish

Step One - To moisturise the raw timber, you can use either our Restoring Polish or our any one of our food safe oils (Lemon, Orange or Liquid Beeswax). You may consider using a sanding sealer (sold at all hardware stores) before the initial waxing/oiling, before step one, if the timber is very dry. Apply sparingly, one to three coats as required (one soft cloth to apply and one soft cloth to buff back), ensuring that the surface is dry to the touch between each coat. If the timber is very dry, the polish or oil will be absorbed rapidly.


Provided the timber is not tacky to the touch, you can follow with the next application. If using other manufacturer's preparations such as a tung oil finish it is essential that these are properly cured before applying any wax. If not, the oils can bleed back out of the timber preventing the wax finish from hardening as it should.

Step Two - Follow this with our Cabinet Makers Wax, which is most effectively applied using Steel Wool 0000. Apply at least two coats, buffing thoroughly between. The Cabinet Makers Wax is designed to fill any very fine grooves, cracks or imperfections in the timber to give a super-smooth finish. The number of applications will depend on the finish required.

Step Three - Finally, apply our Cream Polish for your final finish (one soft cloth to apply sparingly and another to polish back), which will give you a high sheen.
Alternatively, you may prefer to use our Carnauba Polish for a harder finish and high sheen. Both the Cream and Carnauba Polish are an ideal and easy way for you to maintain your beautiful new waxed finish.

The food safe oils are all natural and are best used within the recommended 24-month shelf life after opening. There is some degradation because they are natural, however there is no set time frame for spoilage. In many cases, if kept away from heat, the oils can last much longer without going rancid .


We have a use by date on our products of within 24 months of opening. However, the waxes will last well beyond that period if they are kept airtight. The oils contain natural ingredients, so they are subject to degradation. The Orange Oil is naturally coloured and is sensitive to UV light. Loss of colour does not reduce its effectiveness in any way.

All products should be kept airtight for best effectiveness and longevity, preferably in a cool, dark place.

The waxes are generally a better choice if you are looking to reduce the amount of darkening of the timber.

Our food safe range can be found here and includes the Orange Oil, Liquid Beeswax, Lemon Oil, Pure Tung Oil, Pure Hemp Oil, Chopping Board Oils and Food Safe Wax. All of these contain only natural ingredients and are safe for any furniture and children’s toys.

Yes. The natural waxes do breathe and moisture allowed to pool on the surface will penetrate. There is a simple trick to remove white moisture rings here.

We recommend that our waxes only be used on indoor furniture because the wax in the formulation does flex and breathe, with the potential for allowing moisture to seep beneath the surface into the timber below.

There is an exception to this rule, where the Carnauba Polish can be used on metals and other non-porous surfaces. It creates a protective skin (which does require some maintenance depending on the severity of the elements) and can prevent oxidisation. It is very useful for sealing metal sculptures.

Yes, the Carnauba Polish (also the Gun Polish) is our go to for protecting metal surfaces. It is also excellent for reducing friction on metal parts of woodworking machinery.

There is some controversy online about whether a timber surface needs to be sanded before using the Pure Tung Oil. We would suggest a light sanding if the surface is rough but no other preparation is really necessary. In some cases, the grain of the timber does raise with application of the oil, in which case a light sand to smooth out the ‘hairy’ surface is recommended.

For any gaps 1mm or larger, we recommend our Beeswax Filler Sticks. They are made from pure beeswax with a hardener and can be blended to match any timber colour. Easy to melt and press into gaps, these are excellent for filling timber gaps. The beeswax flexes with the timber, maintaining and excellent bond. Must be used before any other finish so that the wax can ‘bite’ into the raw fibres.

Clean your chopping board using either warm soapy water or if you want to go very natural, sprinkle some salt over it and scrub with half a lemon (nature’s antibacterial scrub). Allow the board to dry thoroughly.

Then, apply one of our Chopping Board Oils sparingly and work in well with a lint-free cloth. Wipe away any excess and it’s ready to use. For an extra deep feed, leave the first application on overnight to allow greater penetration. Wipe away any excess oil in the morning. Re-apply as the board becomes dull or dry.

We love timber/bamboo chopping boards. Plastic chopping boards can shed microplastics into your food, so consider making the switch to timber chopping boards. A nourished timber board will last for decades.

We recommend using either our Carnauba Polish (a beautiful soft, creamy polish with a spicy fragrance that dries to a very hard finish that can be buffed to impart an impressive sheen), our ever-popular Pure Tung Oil or Pure Hemp Oil. The oils are VOC free and superb for people and pets with sensitive noses and dry to a matte finish.


Otherwise, the Mezzie and Frank's Hardy Clear Coat is a very quick and easy way of protecting and enhancing the painted finish.

Gilly’s is now the official manufacturer of Mezzie and Frank Mineral furniture paint; well worth a try for your next upcycling project. It is very low VOC and rich in natural ingredients. Read more about it
here.


Water that has penetrated the waxed or lacquered furniture appears as pale or white marks. All you need do is lay a white or pale facecloth/towel over the marks and hold a clothing iron over the fabric briefly, checking frequently. Don't use the steam function. This effectively draws up the moisture into the fabric. Obviously, you need to be careful not to hold the iron over the patch for too long at a time.

Dark marks are not able to be removed in this way as they have penetrated the timber. This is usually a case for sanding back and refinishing.

Absolutely. Traditionally, lemon oil has been used for this purpose. The properties of our Orange Oil are exactly the same, so we recommend either for cleaning and maintaining both the metal and timber components of stringed instruments.

More » Less «
  • List
  • Map