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Woods
finishes & care instructions

Carl Hansen & Søn is first and foremost a producer of wooden furniture. All wood used by Carl Hansen & Søn is hardwood purchased from responsible sawmills with whom they have long, established relationships. 

Due to the design and quality of their products, they only use new wood - never recycled wood. As wood is a natural product, variations in color and pigmentation will occur. Wooden furniture will also change appearance over time as it is affected by the environment in which it is placed.

Carl Hansen uses oak, beech and ash mainly from Danish forests which are managed according to the Danish Forest Act (latest edition 2004). This law promotes sustainable forestry incorporating ecological, social and economic considerations. The law also stipulates that indigenous wood supplies must not only be sustainable, but, by law, also increase in a managed way. 

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Wood care products & kits
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soaped oak

white oiled oak

oiled oak

clear lacquered oak

smoked oiled oak

black painted oak
(wood grain visible)

oiled beech

clear lacquered beech

soaped beech

black painted beech (smooth)

clear lacquered walnut

oiled walnut

clear lacquered walnut/oak

oiled walnut / oak

soaped ash

white oiled ash

oiled ash

clear lacquered ash

smoked oiled ash

oiled cherry

clear lacquered cherry

oiled mahogany

lacquered mahogany

painted beech (smooth surface)

The wood species

The ash trees are approximately 150 years old. Ash has an open structure and beautiful long fibers. It is a very strong wood type which makes it very suitable for furniture production. However, this also makes it difficult to work with.

The oak trees are somewhere between 150-250 years old. Oak has shorter fibers than ash but is also a very strong wood type. Oak is however easier to work with than ash. It has an open surface and the fibers are visible and touchable even when painted.  The beech trees we use are also around 150 years old.

Beech is lighter than oak but heavier than ash. Beech has shorter fibers than oak and therefore easier to work with. It has a very smooth surface and if painted or lacquered, the fibers will not be visible. We also use walnut and American cherry. These hardwoods are sourced from American forests.

The walnut is also around 150 years old. Walnut has a wide color spread ranging from light to dark brown. It is a very irregular wood type which makes it difficult to foresee which colors the wood has before opening the logs.

The American cherry is around 150 years old. Cherry is a very firm wood type with great elasticity. The American Cherry has an incredible color span from deep orange, to golden, to dark brown.

treatments and appearance

Furniture from Carl Hansen & Søn is available in various surface treatments. This gives you the possibility of choosing what suits you the best. However, not all surface treatments are possible on all wood types.

Soaped Made from 100% vegetable soap, mixed in water. The closest to raw wood; grain and structure visible; light colour. Very soft. Should be treated about every 2-3 month. The most natural of finishes. Anyone can completely restore a table. Requires regular maintenance, until the wood has been treated many times. Takes stains from red wine, childrens markers etc.

Oiled Vegetable based oil rubbed into wood. Grain and structure visible; darker than soap, creates luster and brings out contrast in grain and structure; darkness over time to reach a rich patina. Should be treated 2 times per year. Anyone can compleetly restore a table. Oil is more stain-resistant than soap. 

White pigmented oiled Même caractéristiques que huilé, mais avec une teinte plus claire qui le rapproche de l'aspect savonné.

Clear lacquered Grain and structure visible; darker than soap; glossy, smooth finish; yellows over time. Easy to care for on a daily basis, as long as there is no serious damage (deep scratches, burn marks, etc). Surface must be repairedby professionals in case of serious damage.

Smoked oiled or lacquered Smoking the wood makes it darker. After what, the wood is oiled or lacquered. 

It is important to note that the color of the wood matures as the furniture is exposed to daylight, with the most significant changes occurring early in the life of the furniture. Thus a vase or other ornaments placed in the same position for a long time can leave differences in shade of color on the surface of the wood. It is recommended to leave large surfaces of wood uncovered during the first months of use of the furniture and to avoid exposing them to direct sunlight to avoid marks. In addition, never use abrasive cleaners, steel wool or polish on solid wood furniture, and do not place hot or damp objects directly on their surface. 

care instructions for soaped wood

Soaped wood has the advantage of having a very natural look. However, since soap grease is water soluble, it is recommended that you regularly treat your furniture with a soft cloth dampened in lukewarm water and a soap solution from a recommended care kit. Avoid using cleaning products or chemicals on the table. 

Spills, water stains on glasses and the like should be removed immediately to avoid stains and marks. Regular maintenance of soaped wood is easy, it must be repeated regularly depending on the position and use of the furniture. 

To treat your soaped wood furniture:
- Clean the furniture first: stains and dirt must be completely removed before treatment. If necessary, remove difficult stains with an abrasive sponge or fine sandpaper grade 220.
- Before applying the soap, softly sand the entire piece of furniture with the abrasive sponge. Always sand along the grain of the wood.
- Apply the soapy solution with a cloth or sponge all over the furniture in the direction of the wood grain, as evenly as possible. Avoid accumulations and traces of soap, as residue can later be difficult to remove, especially on oak.
- Wipe off excess soap on the table.
- Never forget to treat the underside of furniture to avoid uneven drying. Uneven drying can cause deformation or even cracks of the wood.
- Let the furniture dry completely before using it again.
- The wood fibers can rise after the first soap treatments. The wood fibers can be removed with the sanding sponge once the furniture is completely dry.


As an alternative to the recommended maintenance kit, you can make a soap mixture yourself for the maintenance of your wooden furniture. The soap mixture consists of 2.5 cl (a large tablespoon) of natural colorless soap shavings in 1 liter of hot water. Soap shavings should be dissolved in hot water and cooled to room temperature before use. Be careful, never pour the soapy solution directly on the furniture. Furniture only needs soap grease, not water. An excessive amount of water can cause cracks in the wood during subsequent drying. Also pay attention to oak, which is a wood particularly sensitive to treatment: the solution should not be too strong, because a strong solution will make the wood darker. 

care instructions for oiled wood

Regular cleaning of oiled wood furniture is done with a soft humid cloth. The use of detergents or chemicals should be avoided. It is recommended that you oil your furniture regularly, at a frequency depending on its use, using a recommended maintenance kit.

In order to treat your oiled wood furniture:
- First clean the table. For best results, stains and dirt should be completely removed before removal.
- Before applying the oil, softly sand the entire plate with the abrasive sponge. Always sand along the longitudinal direction of the wood grain.
- Apply the oil with a sponge or cloth. The oil should be applied in a thin and even layer over the entire piece of furniture, not forgetting the edges. Then let the oil sit for about 5 minutes.
- Carefully wipe off excess oil from the furniture with a clean cotton cloth and allow the tray to dry.
- The oil must be completely dry before using the furniture again. The drying time of the oil depends on the temperature, so always check that the furniture is dry before using it again. 

WARNING ! Note that cloths or sponges that have been used for the oil treatment can ignite spontaneously, so they should always be stored in an airtight container, made of metal or glass. Also be extra careful when disposing of cloths. 

care instructions for lacquered or painted wood

Regular cleaning should be done with a soft humid cloth. Avoid using detergents or chemicals.

Varnished or painted surfaces are less sensitive than soaped or oiled surfaces, however they cannot be reprocessed as easily. We recommend that you call a professional woodworking shop for any major scratches or scuffs that would occur on the surface.