Barrister Bookcase Wood Care Tips

Caring For Your Hale Barrister Bookcase

Hale Barrister Bookcases are built to last, and with the right care, your Barrister Bookcase will look great for generations. Here are some tips for caring for your Hale wood shelving.

Protection From Scratches and Spills

Hale Barrister Bookcases are solidly built with North American wood. We use a catalyzed finish to protect the wood, ensuring the bookcase is tough and resistant to scratches and spills. It takes a full month for the application to completely cure. Because our products are made to order and are finished just prior to shipping, please take extra care during the first few weeks to avoid scratching or softening of the finish.


Regular dusting will keep your Hale Barrister Bookcase looking shiny and prevent dust from settling on the wood. Soft cloths or old clean shirts work best. Dust will cling to the cloths if they are slightly dampened but not wet. Dust your furniture in the direction of the grain to prevent noticeable scratches from dust particles. Spray waxes and polishes are not necessary and can cloud the finish, leave noticeable streaks, and create build-up over time.


Our finish is very durable and resistant to most household spills; however, spills should be wiped up promptly to avoid potential problems. There should never be moisture left on the wood surface after cleaning. For routine cleaning, we recommend using a soft cloth dampened with warm, soapy water. Dish soap without abrasives will do the trick. Be sure your cloth is damp, not wet, and replace your cloth with a clean one before it gets too dirty. A soiled, damp cloth can redeposit soil on the finish.

The Environment

Wood furniture responds to changes in temperature and humidity by expanding and contracting slightly. It’s best to keep the indoor humidity in the 30 to 45 percent range and the temperature in the 60 to 80 degree range 365 days a year.

Sunlight and fluorescent fixtures can cause chemical changes in the wood and/or finish. Avoid placing your Hale Barrister Bookcase in an area where the sun will shine directly on it. Keep furniture away from direct sources of heating and cooling.

While many types of wood can change color over time, this process can be much more dramatic with cherry wood. It starts out a light golden/pink tone and darkens to a rich, reddish-brown color as it is exposed to light. If you are adding on to a previous order of cherry furniture and your new order appears to be too light, please be patient. With time, your new furniture will “catch up” to the existing product. This process will start as soon as the product is exposed to natural light. There will be a dramatic difference after two weeks, and after six months your new product will have that rich, reddish-brown color like your existing furniture.