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I'm having to store a hardwood, well made, finished furniture (bed) in a utility space of my finished basement for a while (5 years currently projected). In order to protect it, I'm planning on using some of the plastic wrap that is used typically when transporting and taking delivery of such items. Can I use the the plastic wrap for this amount of time without damaging the furniture or will I need to preform additional preparations or seek another solution?

I have a spot picked out that is out of the way of but happens to be next to my furnace (~3ft between furnace and bed). The furnace is a modern high efficiency one so I'm not not too worried about it affecting it directly via heat or chemical leaks, but if I'm wrong, let me know.

  • The desire to use plastic is because I have a P.I.T.A. cat that likes to mark her spots. – BPugh Feb 8 '16 at 16:19
  • I'm also thinking a possible solution is to use large flower pots to keep the cat away from it. Set it on top of something to keep it out of her reach, but maybe use buckets to set the legs and rails in as a added layer? I will take measures to make sure the buckets drain should liquid find the way in. – BPugh Feb 8 '16 at 16:21
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In order to protect it, I'm planning on using some of the plastic wrap that is used typically when transporting and taking delivery of such items.

I would not suggest storing any wooden item in a plastic bag or wrapped in plastic. Especially in areas subject to fluctuations in heat and humidity (i.e., basements), plastic is notorious for condensing moisture out of the air, which has a high likelihood of ruining your furniture's finish.

Instead, I would recommend covering the furniture in an old bedsheet. This was often done historically to keep dust off of items expected not to be used for a while (there's a scene in the movie Pride & Prejudice that sticks in my mind, though I can't seem to find a picture). Really any old sheet will do the trick, but white may be a good option if you're worried about dyes leeching out.

I have a spot picked out that is out of the way of but happens to be next to my furnace (~3ft between furnace and bed). The furnace is a modern high efficiency one so I'm not not too worried about it affecting it directly via heat or chemical leaks, but if I'm wrong, let me know.

The areas around furnaces are usually about the same temperature as the rest of the room unless your furnace has a leak. I wouldn't worry about it.

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  • Thanks, I have no problem with the bed sheet approach. I would have been my first choice (or none at all), but I have a P.I.T.A. cat that likes to mark her territory in the house. She stays out of this corner so I'm not really worried, but if she does..... Do you think that placing the legs and rails (also wood) in large flower pots (or buckets) would affect it? Given that I do all I can to make sure that they don't trap standing water? – BPugh Feb 8 '16 at 16:19
  • @BPugh, if you allow the buckets/pots to drain any water that might collect, I don't see any issue with it. – grfrazee Feb 8 '16 at 16:35
  • Have in mind if there is a flood in the basement. I would put it on some blocks that if in any case there is flooding it shouldn't reach the project. – Nachmen Feb 9 '16 at 11:55
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Can I use the the plastic wrap for this amount of time without damaging the furniture or will I need to preform additional preparations or seek another solution?

I don't think you can assume that type of plastic is safe for long-term direct contact with some finishes, varnishes in particular and some lacquers (it is very likely the bed is varnished or lacquered). There are many soft plastics which cannot safely be left in contact with modern finishes over the long term due to issues of migration of the plasticisers out of the plastic, which sort of melts the finish.

Unless you were certain of the plastic type and its safety in this regard I wouldn't want to risk it myself.

The good news is that under normal circumstances you don't have to wrap or even cover modern furniture that isn't in use, even over long timeframes. While draping in a sheet is traditional, and is still widely done by some, the reality is that it's far less necessary today with modern furniture because almost all has a hard coating. This is in contrast to much period furniture which had soft or relatively soft finishes which could easily be marred just from having dust sitting on the surface for extended periods. In addition, modern homes are inherently substantially cleaner than houses in the past, in large part because of the lack of open fireplaces. As you mention your basement is finished I would presume it's not substantially different to the rest of house in regards to dust.

So except for the issue of your cat I wouldn't worry about it and just trust to the finish to protect the wood. A quick wipe down, maybe with furniture polish, might be all that's needed to get the bed back to looking exactly as it does now in a few years when you put it back into service.

The desire to use plastic is because I have a P.I.T.A. cat that likes to mark her spots.

I'm sure you know this already but the best solution to that particular problem is not to allow the cat access to where the bed is. Easier said than done I know!

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    In the olden days I think that cats like that got thrown into the river. – Michael Karas Feb 14 '16 at 7:51

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