Repair and Maintenance

Our furniture is made with materials and construction methods that ensure that they are hardy and robust for a long time even with heavy usage. However, even the sturdiest piece of furniture can be affected by changes in temperature, light, humidity, and the passage of time. Our daily interactions with the things inhabiting our lives – falls, knocks, and spillage also tend to leave their traces. The time you devote to the objects you share space with not only extends their life by years, but also strengthens your bond with them. A little care goes a long way in maintaining your furniture.

Be Kind to Your Furniture

Place your furniture in areas that won’t need you to push them around often. Use coasters or trivets when setting glasses, mugs or hot plates on them so they don’t leave behind rings and marks. Keep the surface clean by dusting often and with a soft cloth.

Don’t Underestimate Environmental Damage

Our furniture is meant for indoor use. Sunlight, heat, humidity, and changes in temperature affect wood. Teak and cane are hardy and weatherproof, but exposure to moisture or direct sunlight will leave an impact on the finish. Keep your furniture away from windows, balconies or terraces that expose them to strong sunlight or rain.

Wood Care

Most of our furniture is made with teak wood. Teak is extremely hardy and has high natural oil content, making it resistant to extreme weather as well as wood-boring insects. Here are a few suggestions to take care of your wooden furniture.

a. Oil / Wax your furniture

Teak gets better with age and its colour becomes richer and more intense. The wood used in our furniture does not require periodic oiling or maintenance. However, with exposure to sunlight or due to cleaning mops touching the bottom of the legs, the finish can become discolored in a few places. Applying hard wax oil with a soft cloth can restore the finish. (Hard wax oil brands we recommend are Kneho and Fiddes).

. Clean up for more than dust
Loose dust along with years of settled dirt or sticky spots can accumulate on your furniture, so we recommend cleaning regularly. Clear the sticky spot with a soft cloth dipped in a solution of 4 parts water and 1 part mild dish detergent. Wring the cloth of excess solution and gently wipe the affected area until the dirt or stickiness dissolves. Next, wipe with a soft, dry cloth. Apply hard wax oil after if there is any discolouration.

c. Repair heat rings

We have all left a mug of something hot directly on the surface of our wooden furniture. In turn, these mugs leave behind heat rings, marks or whitish stains. To remove these stains, use a hair dryer. Simply set the dryer to the lowest setting and keep the dryer moving over the stains until they disappear. You can also place a towel or cotton cloth over the stain and run an iron on low heat setting over it for a few minutes. Check to see the state of the stains and iron again if needed. Apply oil after.

Cane / Wicker Care

Many of our furniture pieces feature hand-woven cane (wicker) seats and backs. If used well, cane seats can last several years without any damage or sagging. Here are a few suggestions for their care and maintenance to ensure longevity:

a. Use a seat cushion on your cane seating as this helps distribute pressure evenly on the woven surface rather than on individual strands. A seat cushion can also prevent accidental breakage due to sharp objects or rivets in clothing coming in contact with the cane strands.

b. Do not stand or kneel on a cane seat. A cane seat is intended to take the evenly distributed weight of the person sitting on it, not concentrated weight like a knee or foot. Standing on a cane seat or kneeling on it will cause the cane strands to break and the seat will need to be rewoven prematurely.

c. Keep your cane furniture away from spaces with extreme heat and very low humidity. These conditions could cause the cane to dry out and become brittle. It is also preferable to avoid direct sunlight falling on the cane for long periods of time.

d. Food stains or spillage of drinks should be wiped off promptly with a soft, moist cloth.

e. In humid climates, it is possible that mold or mildew develops on the cane surface. This can be cleaned easily by using diluted soap water along with a soft bristle brush and/or a cotton cloth to gently clean the areas with mildew. After cleaning, let the cane surface dry naturally for at least 48 hours before you use the furniture again.

f. Lastly, we recommend oiling the surface of the cane every six months to ensure it remains supple and strong for a long time. Linseed oil, teak oil or any other oil commonly used on wood can be applied on cane. Apply oil with a soft cloth or paint brush to the top and bottom surface of the cane and let it dry for3to 4 hours. Repeat the process for a second coat and leave the furniture to dry for 24 hours.

Upholstery Care

At Phantom Hands, we only use fabric upholstery for our furniture, and our commonly used fabrics include velvets, woolens, cotton, cotton-linen blend, and silks. Each of these fabrics have their own nuances and specificities. Here’s a basic set of care and maintenance guidelines that should suffice for any fabric upholstery.

a. Vacuum regularly for dust. You can also use a brush to gently whisk the dirt away. Always use a soft-bristled brush so that you don't snag the fabric. This will also ensure that the dirt doesn’t get embedded into the fibres.

b. You can do preventive maintenance by spraying 3M Scotchgard (widely available in the market) or any other type of fabric protector spray once a year. This prevents stains from developing in case food or liquids are spilt on the upholstery. The flipside, however, is that it can make the fabric a bit stiff.

c. Timing is key when it comes to removing stains and spills. You must take care of them promptly by blotting them with paper towels. Any solid spills can also be lifted away with a knife that’s not too sharp. Do not rub the stains! If you are using any solvent, then conduct a test in a discreet spot of the upholstery before cleaning the actual stains or soiled areas.

d. Turning cushions in case you use seat pads or sofas with loose cushions. One of the ways to extend an upholstered furniture’s life is by turning over the loose cushions from time to time (in our case, this is applicable to the Modular Sofas). Cushions should also be fluffed after cleaning so that they retain their shape.

e. Velvets should be vacuumed regularly to remove dust that can weaken fibres and leave a stale odour. For this material especially, you can use a garment steamer to avoid any creases. As with other upholstery, do test with a cleaning product in a less visible area to ensure there are no colour changes.

f. Too much sun, in general, can affect any upholstery fabric, slowly fading and fraying it. Keep your upholstered furniture away from the sunlight as much as possible. It’s also a good idea to keep your upholstered furniture in a place that’s well ventilated so as to avoid any odour and air borne pollutants like smoke or cooking fumes.

Lamp Care

Dust your fabric lampshade every week – both the outside and inside of the shade. Make sure the lamp is turned off for the cleaning. You can use a disposable duster, a micro fibre cloth, a sticky lint roller, or even the upholstery brush that’s attached to a vacuum cleaner. Use a product safe for silk (like 3M Scotchgard) to protect your lamp shade once it’s clean.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions on care, maintenance or repair at