It’s no surprise to us Arizonians that the summer sun packs a serious punch. There are few things hotter than stepping outside around noon in July and feeling that heat blast, except maybe when you open the door to a hot oven.
Luckily for us and most other living things, we’re able to seek shady retreat or the refuge of an air-conditioned room when the sun is beating down. Our household wooden furniture and cabinets obviously can’t move on their own (if they did you’d have bigger problems than the hot sun), so that’s why it’s up to us to make sure they’re taken care of. The tips below will help you learn how to protect wood cabinets from the sun.
Why the Sun Damages Wood
The same light spectrum rays that damage the skin also cause discoloration, fading or darkening, and other damage to wood products. Ultraviolet rays, heat, radiation, and light are the main culprits, and, contrary to popular belief, a clear glass window lets in 70 percent of the sun’s UV rays. Energy-efficient windows may block up to an additional 10 percent.
So if windows only block out a certain percentage of the sun’s damaging rays, what’s the best way to protect your wood cabinets from the sun? The tips below may be applied to any wood surface, including valuable kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
Tips on How to Protect Cabinets from the Sun
This seems like a no-brainer, but using curtains and blinds not only darkens the room, it also reduces the chances of harmful UV rays damaging your wood. If you’re not home, make sure the blinds are closed. This should also help keep your home cooler.
2. Try window film.
This is a great way to keep out up to 99.9 percent of the sun’s harmful rays without having to remember to draw the blinds or curtains. Plus, solar window film still allows light to pass through, but without the harmful rays. You’ll still feel the warmth of natural sunlight without damaging any wood inside the home. Surfaces should not fade, even if they’re directly in front of the window.
3. Apply sealants, lacquers, or varnishes if safe.
There are many types of chemicals on the market, and these products are designed to protect against the sun’s harmful rays, water, and general wear and tear. They are used as a top coat and are usually made from resins, solvents, and oils. The product you need depends on the type of wood your cabinets are made from. Be careful when selecting chemical products for use on your cabinets or other furniture, however, as some could damage wood. Consult with one of our kitchen designers before using solutions on your cabinets.
4. Be mindful of where you place the wood cabinets.
When you design your kitchen, keep the window location and the natural light in mind. If there’s a lot of sunlight coming in, you may need to utilize some of the tips listed above in order to protect your wood products.