A. Brandt Ranch Oak Furniture needs to be waxed frequently to maintain its durable factory-lacquered finish. NEVER USE OIL or oily polishes to clean or dust your Ranch Oak. There is a reason why the factory offered and sold cans of wax to purchasers for regular maintenance, and NOT bottles of oil. Nowhere in any factory literature regarding the care of Ranch Oak furniture will you find any mention of furniture oil.
That being said, if the original finish has become soiled or marred in some way, there are many steps you can take to successfully enhance the appearance of the finish and even perform light touch-up work to restore damaged finishes on Ranch Oak. Unlike what others may claim, Ranch Oak is NOT indestructible. Once the factory-sealed finish has been compromised, the glued wood construction is vulnerable. Moisture and heat can cause separation, splitting and warping of wood parts.
When preparing to work on your furniture, move it to a well ventilated area if at all possible. If not, make sure you can ventilate the room it's in for a few days, if necessary. Use heavy rubber gloves (chemical resistant) even if only for waxing. If heavy cleaning is necessary, mineral spirits is a good cleaner to remove grime, ink and old layers of murky wax. In some cases, heavily caked on white wax needs to be carefully removed with a scraper. Always reapply a protective coat of wax after using mineral spirits. On the Natural Oak finish, the first replacement coat of wax should be a clear coat. However, if by cleaning dark grime from the finish you have reached bare wood (soiling dissolves lacquer finishes over time), it may be necessary to touch-up the bare wood area with a color-matched stain, followed by feathering on a coat of clear satin lacquer. More content on "how to" clean, wax and restore damaged finishes to be added later. Hope this answers the basics!
REPLACEMENT WAXES ARE AVAILABLE FROM SEVERAL COMPANIES. Don't let anyone tell you that white wax for Ranch Oak cannot be found. A good clear, colorless paste wax may be all you'll ever need for regular maintenance of either Acorn Brown or Natural Oak finishes. However, there are several brown specialty waxes suitable for Acorn Brown finishes, and a few white liming waxes for the Natural Oak finish that can be found in better hardware stores or on the Internet. Here are some brands found to work well:
Staples Crystal Clear wax - for all finishes. Tough and durable w/carnuba wax.
Mylands Liming wax (white)- for Natural Oak finishes
Briwax Liming wax (white)- for Natural Oak finishes
Liberon Black Bison (Medium Oak) - for Acorn Brown finishes
Briwax (Tudor Brown) - for Acorn Brown finishes