Conserving Wooden Furnitures and Sustainable Art

Furnitures are complex structures which are comprised of different materials each with their particular conservation requirements. Such materials could contain fabrics, plastics and other upholstery, plastic, leather, ceramic, glass, ivory and metallic leaf. No matter how airtight a cabinet is, it is prone to decay if not taken care of properly. Knowing the makeup of various sorts of wood, finishes, paints, stains and other substances on furniture and wooden items can offer the very best care.

Kinds of corrosion

Wood is made up of cellulose, a hygroscopic natural substance, meaning it’s an affinity for water. It’s quite prone to the reaction when subjected to varying levels of temperatures and relative humidity.

Low relative humidity (dry atmosphere ) contributes to timber drying and shrinking. High relative humidity (moist air) introduces dampness to wooden objects, which then makes them expand. When an environment changes quickly, complicated objects such as pieces of furniture might be unable to resist the repeated contracting and expanding and leads to breaking or splitting.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation in light may lead to discoloration to wooden items and furniture, and disintegration to additional organic substances containing dyes like fabrics. Exposure to light may turn mild forests dark, and conversely, bleach dark forests. Light may also result in brittleness or discoloration into the stained, stained or varnished layers in your furniture.

Much like other organic substances, wood is very vulnerable to pest damage. Pests like wood-boring insects are drawn to particular types of wood and moist conditions may also promote mold growth.

The performance of furniture signifies they tend to be subject to mishandling or slow wear and tear over time. The decline of parts, breaking and breaking down of structural elements is a frequent outcome of use in furniture. Dirt, stains and small spills from water which leads to muddy stains on furniture demonstrate harm but also demonstrate the background and utilization of pieces of furniture.


Keeping a secure environment with no fluctuations in temperature or relative humidity and with no direct exposure to light is a significant step in maintaining furniture and other wooden items. When an environment is secure in relative humidity (between 40-60% relative humidity), wooden items won’t dry out and they won’t need oiling or waxing.

Inspecting wood furniture and tree parts such as signs of insect activity could be carried out by examining the insides of wooden elements of furniture such as drawers and underlinings such as frass or leave holes which insects might render. If pest action is observed, isolate the furniture by wrapping in plastic and consulting with a pest pro or a conservator is essential.

Cleaning of furniture and wooden items ought to be performed with a clean, dry duster on large surfaces, or even using good brushes to dust complicated surfaces.

Metal elements of furniture ought to be buffed using a clean, dry cloth. Commercially available products for metal and for furniture may leave residues with time and also have undesirable results.

Damage brought on by mishandling or transferring can be prevented by taking care when altering furniture and appraising the lowest and most powerful aspect of this item.

Conservators who specialize in furniture and other wooden items can recognize the demands of various sorts of timber and materials which are observed in furniture from various times. Furniture that requires repair or cleaning ought to be referred to a conservator so as to reach the best possible result.

When all else fails

Sometimes, when a furniture is too old it can go beyond the point of being saved. It is then suggested to look for ways to recycle the timber. One artist from America, for example, has turned recycled timber chairs into an outdoor art installation. This outdoor art installation is located in the woods surrounding the museum, making the woods part of his exhibition showcase. He utilized abandoned seats located at a landfill, hammered them in his studio, and then refitted them with good care. And he then remounted them 40 feet, at the trees. So returning the chairs to their origin: as trees.

A number of the rungs of the seats seem to pass directly through the tree so it appears like the seats are climbing from their trunks and branches. As time goes the tree will grow around the chair parts and encircle them so that they will become a part of the genuine growth. Obviously, the artist consulted from few tree arborists before performing this endeavor to make sure he wouldn’t kill the trees.

The inspiration of the art piece comes from the artist’s beginnings as a cabinetmaker. He deeply respects wood and its contributions to the environment. It is a cycle of decay and growth and it is an art form. Not just that, finally the seats will decompose and become a part of the woods as they disappear, thus completing the cycle.

Practices of sustainable art like this become extremely important as more timber is extracted from the environment and its availability decreases with time. Making full use and ensuring that we are not wasting any pieces of timber, is thus, extremely important to conserve our environment.