Our studio receives all manner of interesting and individual items. Among the artworks, frames, furniture, and ceramics we work with, we also restore and repair wooden objects.

These include ornaments and sculptures and other unique bespoke items that have been handcrafted for our clients.

As with artworks and ceramics, wooden objects are also susceptible to both accidental and environmental damage. 

While accidental damage is very unfortunate, incidents unfortunately do and will happen. Such damage, like a dropped or snapped ornament, can be entirely successfully repaired. The below restoration project gives an excellent example of what can be done for wooden objects. 

The sculpture had a piece snapped off that needed reattaching.

Firstly we gently cleaned the piece in preparation for the restoration, and then carefully and securely adhered the broken piece back to the main part. 

Once it was successfully reattached, we filled and blended the losses – similarly to the process with ceramics.

The result is a seamless restoration our client was very happy with. We were also able to provide further information as part of our aftercare advice, which included how to keep the sculpture safe from any environmental damage by following some easy and practical steps.  

By avoiding and minimising any damage from potential environmental risks, objects will be kept in much better condition. 

We have details some simple solutions below to care for wooden objects.

Water and relative humidity 

The biggest risks to wooden objects is water and relative humidity. Woodwork can get wet from condensation so it is best not to place them near windows, walls, where there is any damp surface, or in cupboards. 

If water comes into contact with wood, it can also lead to funghi and staining on the object.

Each time the relative humidity in a room changes, wood will swell and move. This is the same for wooden picture frames. If this change is gradual rather than quick, then that movement can be accommodated for within the object. Although it isn’t possible to completely avoid fluctuations, as long as there is no rapid rise or fall with relative humidity this should prevent damage to the object.

Warm temperatures

If there is fungi present on the object, perhaps due to contact with water, warm temperatures will accelerate this growth. High moisture and warm temperatures also tend to be a problem for wooden objects as it can attract insects. It is therefore advisable to keep objects away from open heat sources, such as fires and radiators, or warmer rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Air Circulation and Light

To avoid a room becoming too warm and stuffy, it is important that there is good air circulation, and the object is not kept in an enclosed space such as a cupboard or bathroom. Poor air circulation will also cause fungi to grow. 

If opting to keep objects in a lighter room with windows, it is important to also be mindful of how much light and UV might have an effect. 

As with paintings, light coloured wood becomes darker, and darker wood tends to lighten, if exposed to UV light. The object will benefit from being placed in a light room with no direct sunlight in its path.

Handling Objects

Whenever objects are handled, an additional step could also be to wear gloves. As long as hands are clean and free from grease, it is fine to handle the object without them. Try to keep the object away from areas where it may be likely to have something spilt on it, such as in a kitchen as if substances do get on wood it is harder to clean off and remove. If you would like to dust your sculpture we advise doing so with a soft duster cloth for a light clean. 

If you would like our advice for your wooden objects, please contact us for our no-obligation help.

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