At The Table Guy, we really dislike interrupting a good meal to wipe up spilled wine, or having to remember to use coasters every time we want an ice cold drink on a hot Singapore afternoon. So we put in a lot of effort to test, find and apply a wood finish that would allow us to enjoy daily life without tiptoeing around our furniture.
As a result, we've successfully created a table* that is protected for normal use, so you don't have to worry. Check out the details here:
Protect your wood slab table from stains:
As a rule of thumb, if it doesn't stain your skin, you should be able to wipe it off the table easily.
Here's an example: common food things like tea, coffee, wine and soup can easily be rinsed off your hand, right? Same thing - a bit of surface cleaner and a damp cloth is all you need to wipe it off your wood slab table.
On the other hand, things like permanent markers and paints will stain your skin and require solvents/ soap/ scrubbing to remove, so in a similar way you will also need solvents/ sanding to remove it from your wood surface.
A couple of tips for stains:
(1) We love that this finishing system also developed solvents that can usually remove most fresh stains easily. The sooner a stain is removed, the greater your likelihood of success. For families with young children, we recommend keeping a bottle of solvent (ask us about it) around so you can tackle any marker/ pen accidents promptly.
(2) If stains really, really bother you, get a dark wood table just in case. Trust us, accidents happen.
Protect your wood slab table from heat:
Our ultra-safe rule - if it's too hot to hold with your bare hands, use a coaster/ trivet.
Look - we've tested everything except an open fire/ table barbecue, and generally speaking, most regular heated dining things (pots/ pans/ bowls/ cups) will not damage your solid wood table structurally, nor leave a heat stain.
However, even though the heat won't damage the table itself, there are other things to look out for at the same time, which is why we recommend putting protection down anyway:
(1) Heat won't damage the slab table itself, but your pots and pans might. Heat, especially on gas stoves, often results in carbon and grease stains on the exterior of your pans/ pots. When placed directly on your bare table, those carbon and grease stains may be transferred to the table surface.
(2) Your slab table may not be structurally damaged, but heat is likely to expand the wood fibres. This means that your table will likely feel rougher after some heat has been applied to it. In most cases, the raised grain will contract and smoothen out after it has cooled down, but there are some cases where the raised grain doesn't contract fully after cooling, so the table still feels a little rough afterward.
Protect your wood slab table from scratches:
Wood is soft. It has to be, so that it can be sanded and prepared for use. For this reason, it would be relatively easier to scratch a wood surface than say, stone.
If hairline scratches really bother you, strictly avoid dragging anything on your table. If this cannot be prevented (eg you have heavy plates or a very large table), we recommend using table protectors like laptop mats or soft placemats that would cushion against the scratches!
Most hairline scratches can be minimised with a simple oiling session, but deeper gouges and dents will need to be sanded to be completely removed.
Bonus tips for daily wood slab care:
Here are a few more bits of advice from those of us who have lived with a solid wood slab table for a while...
(1) Cleaning up after a pretty messy meal? Make sure to gently sweep any debris off the table before wiping up, to prevent scratches from things like bones and shells.
(2) Got a water mark? Don't panic, and definitely do not scrub at it. Simply dry the surface and allow to air dry afterward. In most cases, the oil finish allows the wood to breathe and the mark will be at least significantly lessened after 48 hours, if not completely gone. If the mark does not fade with time, it is more likely to be some sort of stain, rather than water.
(3) Accidentally scrubbed away some of the finish/ spilled some solvent, leaving you with a white patch on your table? No worries. Simply re-oil the table to restore the seal.
Taking care of your wood slab table shouldn't be a hassle.
With The Table Guy finish, your table can withstand daily use and spills without requiring too much maintenance. To keep your table looking its best, clean up at the end of your meal, use coasters for hot items, and avoid dragging heavy items across the surface. With these simple tips, you can enjoy your beautiful table for years to come. Remember, if you ever need any help with your table, The Table Guy is always here to assist you.
*Note: All advice here applies exclusively to tables made by The Table Guy Singapore only. We don't presume to provide advice on things we didn't make.