Tips for Protecting Your Home’s Furniture From Fading
You’ve finally saved up enough to purchase the furniture you’ve always dreamed of so you can get rid of the hand-me-downs your family gave you when you moved out. But when you are moving the furniture out of the room, you notice it has become unevenly faded from the sun.
You love the views and sun in your large picture window, and really don’t want to have drapes that will block either of them. But you also don’t want your new furniture to fade.
Fortunately, you have options to block or shade the sun that will still let you keep the view, and options to protect your furniture so it stays just as new looking as the day you bought it.
Filtering Damaging Rays
Applying solar window film to the inside of your windows is also a way to reduce the heat in your house, minimize glare, and reduce fading of your furniture. You can choose to purchase and apply it yourself, or have a professional come in and apply it. Solar film can also be installed on your vehicle windows to help reduce fading of your upholstery, as well as drying or cracking of any leather interiors.
Protecting Wood Furniture
Depending on the type of wood your furniture is made of, the wood can either fade or darken from continuously being exposed to sunlight, and the damage is permanent unless you take precautions to prevent it. The easiest is applying a wax or oil finish to your furniture, but it will have to be redone every few years and won’t protect the wood from weather or daily wear and tear.
Easy-to-apply varnish made from solvents, oils or resins will protect your wood from sunlight, water, heat and everyday use, but the downside is the length of time it takes to dry. There is a water-based formula that dries faster, so ask your local hardware store if they stock it. Also easy to apply is shellac, but it is not as durable as other options, and can show scratches and normal wear.
You can also apply a lacquer finish. However, it is not recommended for coarse-grained wood like oak or softwood like cedar. Polyurethane comes in oil- and water-based formulas, but they can crack with too much heat — for example, if the piece of furniture was close to a fireplace — and wouldn’t be recommended for a piece of furniture that has ornately detailed carvings or curves.
Blocking the Damaging Sun
External sunshades are perfect for blocking the heat of the sun, and with see-through fabrics, they can also reduce glare and protect your furnishings from damage. Designed to be installed on the outside of your windows, they have a single remote that allows you to control your coverage for your entire house. You can also use them on an exterior patio to have an instantly screened room when you want it.
Working a night job? Install one of the available opaque acrylics that will block the view and light so you can sleep during the day. One other advantage of external sunshades is that they will reduce the heat in your home from the sun and you will be able to reduce the amount of time you use your air conditioning.
Finding Sun-Resistant Fabric
If you’ve ever seen the leather dash on an old car, you know the sun isn’t a friend to leather. Unfortunately, once leather is faded from the sun, the only option for getting color back is an expensive one where a professional will color match and re-dye it. Rehydrating leather is also not an option when natural oils have dried out.
The best way to protect your leather furniture is to clean and condition it twice a year, and keep it out of direct sunlight, especially during the hot summer months. Make sure if the room you are putting your leather sofa into gets a great deal of sun, that you put your sofa where it will be out of direct sunlight, perhaps off to a shady side of the room.
Not many would be comfortable sitting on a living room sofa made of a sun-resistant fabric better suited for the outdoors, but there are some fabrics that resist fading better than others. Natural fabrics like cotton, wool and wool blends, and those blended with acrylic, nylon or polyester, are less likely to fade than fabrics like silk and linen, which tend to fade quickly. The deeper the color, the faster it will fade also compared to light-colored fabrics.
Trying Sprays and Filters
There are also spray protectants you can apply to your furniture that will help it to resist fading caused by UV rays. Check with your local furniture upholstery company for what they recommend, and always test your fabric first on a small inconspicuous area.
Finally, adding sheer curtains that will filter the incoming sunlight is also an option for protecting your home’s furniture from fading while still allowing some sunlight to come in and not completely blocking your view.
Follow these tips, and you should have fewer worries about faded furniture while still enjoying the natural sun we all crave in our homes.
Megan Wild writes about easy home improvement tips for millennials on her blog, Your Wild Home. She likes to relieve writer’s block in her family’s workshop and enjoys upcycling forgotten furniture.