Some tips to prevent color fading
Depending on the layout and interior design of your home, you have probably sat in your favorite chair in the early evening and been amazed as the rays of sun play tricks on the walls and surfaces that adorn your home. Maybe you're an early riser and have sat in bewilderment at the splendor of natural light filling your home and flowing through the rooms at sunrise.
The colors in your home become so rich and vibrant as the sun penetrates the room and various pieces of furniture and items of interest get drenched by the God of light. The sunlight adds depth and charm to your home, enhancing the appearance of everything in its path. It provides a natural ambiance unique to your home, and your home only.
Revel in it.
Allowing this natural wonder of light into your home, however, has one major drawback – it can literally ruin your carpeting, fine furniture and artwork on the walls. The UV rays in the sunlight can break down many of the chemicals that exist in furniture and fabric dyes and cause permanent discoloration and fading of wood. You'll want to prevent this negative by-product of the sun's beautiful rays on your home investments by finding an efficient way to protect them from color fading and deterioration.
In order to prevent color fading in the key areas of your home and preserve your furniture for many years, you need to take adequate protective measures against the harmful effect of the sun. And remember that UV rays are present even on cloudy days. The same rule applies as if you had your skin directly out in the elements all day long.
Protect your furniture from the sun
- Abstinence. The easiest method to save our furniture is to keep your pieces away from direct sunlight. Place your furniture, especially the more valuable ones, in shaded areas of the room, away from direct sunlight, windows, and skylights. You may want to reorganize your room to accommodate the natural light. Most people have never thought of this, so you'll be ahead of the curve.
- Window Treatments. Use window treatments of some sort. This can come in form of hanging curtains and draperies, blinds, and shutters, or use shades and awnings to block out the sun. This will also be useful during the hotter summer months of the year in terms of keeping your home's temperature regulated.
- Apply window film. Window films are a great way to handle sun and natural light in your home. High-quality solar window films can reflect up to 99.9 percent of the sun's UV rays. Window films are installed on the inside of your windows to create a protective layer that filters out harmful rays. They will not restrict your view, so they're really an effective tool. You can save on the energy bill by adding a window tint.
- Re-invest into your home. If the home is a long-term plan for your family, you may just want to install new windows. Modern windows are specially designed to block UV rays (they filter about 85 percent of the harmful rays) and improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Protect furniture from fading
You may want to take another step. In addition to preventing sunlight exposure, you may also want to look at some kind of coating to protect the furniture surface.
Seal your wood furniture
Sealants will protect the wood from sunlight, heat, and water. Some sealants can also greatly enhance the beauty of the grain. Depending on the type of wood and amount of exposure you have a few options.
- Varnish. Varnish will seal the wood fibers and provide good protection against ultraviolet light and water. It is made from resins, oil, and solvents, and comes in a variety of different finishes.
- Lacquer. A lacquer will create a hard shell over the furniture surface and provide it with a durable, long-lasting protection. It is not recommended for coarse grain woods or super-soft woods.
- Polyurethane. This is also very durable and long-lasting but can be susceptible to cracking under intense heat. So if this is the alternative to removing your piece from direct sunlight, then you should probably consider something else. Again, a combination of these products and key room placement is the best idea.
- Shellac it. Shellac is a natural product that brings out the richness of wood grains. It looks very attractive on walnut, mahogany, and fine veneer woods. It isn't super durable though and offers only average resistance to sunlight and wear. Your best bet with a shellac is for use on a decorative piece of furniture that doesn't see much daily use.
- Wax it. Oil it. Waxes and oils require regular upkeep but will enhance the appearance of wood furniture substantially. So if you're looking for beauty with a splash of function and you can commit to a monthly routine of curating your amazing home - this one is for you.
Protect fabric upholstery
We can't think of a fabric that is not highly susceptible to fading from the sun. The more "high-end" the material such as silk or linen will fade and wear faster. Materials blended with acrylic, polyester, and nylon are less likely to fade (at least quickly). To prevent the fabric on your furniture from discoloration and premature wear, you'll want to consider spraying your pieces with a specialize fabric protector. You may also want to check out our article An Ounce of Prevention For Your Furniture.
Condition your leather
Ah, the forsaken... the abandoned. We talk about leather all the time; it gets bought, placed, used and abused. But it doesn't have to get worn and beat to the point of replacement. The beauty of your expensive leather investment is that it can indeed, last a lifetime.
When leather pieces are exposed to direct sunlight, the leather’s natural oil evaporates (just like your skin does). As a result, the colors fade and the leather stiffens and cracks. The darker the leather, the quicker it will fade. Conditioning the leather can help prevent drying and discoloration. You can read a bit more about How To Care For Your Leather Furniture.
In the event, family, time and life just get away from you and despite your best intentions your leather furniture cracks and fades - all is not lost. Sun fading can actually make a piece feel vintage and antique - perhaps the end result you were after. If areas of your leather furniture have turned to damage and despair, you can bring them back to life with some natural products that fun to make and healthy to use. Make sure to read our article How To Make Your Own Beeswax Leather Polish for some great advice.
Stay tuned for "How to restore faded wood furniture"