THE FINISH· Every Bella Bella piece is heavily protected with a thick, glossy resin finish that is meant to be used. It is an industrial grade resin that gives the work its glass-like appearance. It is heat, alcohol, and water resistant. Hot plates of food won’t damage the finish. Red wine won’t stain the finish and if the surface gets wet, it’s not a problem! Lara has designed hundreds of kitchen and restaurant tables, counter-tops, wet-bars, island-tops, and even recently launched a children’s line of furniture which definitely indicates its level of durability. This is not to say the surface will never scratch. Resin is a plastic. While Bella Bella pieces have an industrial grade resin applied, it will scratch if you drag a terra cotta pot across the surface or chop on it with a knife. Using common sense, your Bella Bella piece will stay glossy as you use it with confidence. The finish is tough – that’s why so many restaurants have purchased the work.
THE BASICS· Clean the surface with glass cleaner and a soft cloth. You can also use soapy water but avoid paper towels as they have wood fibers that cause the tiniest of patina scratches. Furniture polish is fine too.
WHAT NOT TO DO· Never use an abrasive cleaner or a scratchy, brillo-like sponge. Rubbing alcohol gets sticky things off including crayon and magic marker. It’s okay to have Bella Bella pieces outside for a party or under a covered porch but the work is intended for indoor use. If it gets soaking wet, the wood will swell and the finish will eventually pop-off since it’s a wooden form beneath the paper and resin. This is not to say a coffee table or dining table can’t be drenched from time to time but if it is left outside during the rain, it’s going to be a problem.
DON’T PANIC· A feature of the finish on every Bella Bella piece is its self-healing nature. If you put something really hot or heavy on it, especially when it first arrives, you may get indentations on the finish. Those are normal and will disappear over time by themselves, or you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process. It is not a flaw, rather a feature that keeps the finish from chipping. The longer you have the piece, the harder the surface becomes.
WILL IT FADE OR YELLOW· The industrial grade formula of resin used in Bella Bella work will not yellow because it has UV protection. However, it may fade since all the color you see in each piece is created from paper and you should approach using it the way you do fabric. Lara sells a huge amount to sunny places around the country including Florida, Arizona, Jackson, Aspen, and Cape Cod. Galleries feel confident putting the work in their showroom windows. Lighter palettes are best for sunny areas.
IN GENERAL· Yes! You can sit or put your feet up on a Bella Bella bench or cube, you can use a Bella Bella table with hot, wet, and cold things, and putting a mirror or counter-top in a bathroom or kitchen can be done safely. Think of the resin as you would a glass surface. Some folks even get glass cut to fit the piece for no worries at all. One can easily replace the glass. If necessary, Lara will re-apply the resin for the cost of material and shipping. Please contact us with any additional questions you may have.