Avoiding Business Conflicts

Tough But Sensitive: Caring For Padauk Wood Items

by Arthur Bates

Padauk wood is a tough hardwood from west and southwestern Africa. The wood is known for its gorgeous orange-red color when freshly cut, although this color can change as the cut wood ages; some pieces become purplish-brown while others become grayish. Even though the color of the wood is beautiful, if not cared for properly, it is also known for its color's tendency to bleed, discoloring adjacent items, your clothing, and more. For consumers who are buying padauk wood items, proper care of the item can be essential. Smaller non-flooring items like platters don't require complicated care, but they aren't infallible.

The Surface Should Be Sealed Well

Whatever you buy should be sealed well. The sealant can be several layers of shellac, lacquer, or varnish. Whatever is used should be dry by the time you get it, so if you're having a piece custom made for you, allow for enough time for all the sealant to fully dry. (This can take some time given that several layers might be used.) The wood is tough, but you don't want to hit it with anything hard; you can use metal utensils on it, and in fact, padauk wood can be used for some very nice cutting boards. Just be careful regarding contact between knives and the surface of the board; a hard impact can eventually damage the finish as they would with just about any other type of wood.

Avoid Standing Water

Even with a sealant or finishing layer, padauk wood, like most other woods, is vulnerable to being left in water. The water can eventually stain the wood, leaving behind some damage. Even if the damage is just cosmetic, you don't want to risk this happening to your beautiful platter or other items. Clean up water immediately, and dry off items that you may have to submerge in running water, like those cutting boards. You can certainly wash the item with a damp cloth, just don't leave the item sitting in a sink filled with water. Rinse it off quickly.

Cleaning With Damp Cloths Is Fine

Most of the time you can clean a padauk wood item with a dustcloth, especially one that doesn't come into contact with food and that doesn't need cleaning with any sort of detergent. Occasionally you can run a damp cloth over the item, as mentioned previously; dry the item with a clean cloth as much as you can and then let it air dry.

Padauk wood is often combined with other woods to create fantastic patterns of varying colors. You want your padauk wood platter or other items to continue to look fabulous, and by taking proper care of the wood, you can admire its gorgeous colors for years.