Even under the best of circumstances, the antique and contemporary furniture in your home may eventually develop problems that require some sort of repair. In many cases, these problems are cosmetic in nature. However, you may also experience issues that actually make your furniture unsafe for use. At Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing, our expert staff has decades of experience repairing all kinds of fine furniture. Regardless of the types of problems you encounter, we will develop an appropriate repair plan, incorporate that plan into the larger refurbishing process, and restore both the beauty and function of your treasured pieces.
Reasons for a Repair
Furniture repairs fall into several broad categories. The types of issues present will determine the specific steps we’ll need to take in order to provide you with a lasting, aesthetically pleasing restoration. The most common reasons for undertaking a repair include:
Loose or Broken Joints
Over time, the joints in wood furniture can loosen, or even break altogether, as a result of frequent use. Heavy shorter-term use and accidental damage can also lead to loose or broken joints. After carefully disassembling an unsound joint, we will repair or replace any damaged material in each part of the joint, clean away any excess glue, perform any required resizing of the joint’s surfaces, and reassemble the joint. High-quality wood glue is sufficient for reassembly in most cases, although a reglued joint may need additional reinforcement with an angle brace.
Like loose or broken joints, uneven legs decrease the stability of furniture and present a significant hazard. During repair of your chair, table or other furniture piece, we will identify any uneven legs and remedy the situation through any one of several methods. Possible remedies include: adding an adjusting pad to the shorter leg, shaving material from the longer legs, and readjusting the built-in set screws used for furniture assembly.
Stains and Discoloration
Another potential issue with your contemporary or antique furniture is discoloration or accidental staining. Problems that fall into this category include water- or alcohol-related white rings or spots, a moisture-related haze known as blushing, ink stains, spots caused by wax or chewing gum, and penetrating water marks called black spots. Repair options for staining and discoloration problems include polishing or buffing the affected wood surface, applying a gentle abrasive paste, scraping away and reapplying a localized area of finish, and completely stripping, sanding and refinishing the furniture piece.
Dents, Dings, Scratches and Nicks
Your furniture can accumulate dents, dings, scratches or nicks as a result of accidents or everyday wear and tear. Courses of action to correct these issues include waxing and buffing the affected surface, and making spot applications of finish where needed. A more involved repair may require stripping, sanding and refinishing the affected surface.
Gouges and Cracks
Gouges are deeper than scratches and typically leave significant gashes in the surface of your furniture. Cracks are actual splits or separations of the wood grain in a piece of furniture. As a rule, repair of a gouge or crack requires the addition of some sort of replacement material that restores proper surface height. Depending on the situation, appropriate types of material include water putty (best suited for bare wood), plastic wood filler and shellac. Once dried in place, these substances are sanded until smooth, then refinished.
Many valuable pieces of furniture are covered in thin strips of decorative wood called veneer. Several issues can affect the physical integrity of a veneered piece, including cracking, lifting at an edge or corner, chipping, and blistering or bubbling. Remedies for these forms of damage include reattachment with carpenter’s glue or contact cement, patching with a matching piece of veneer, and the precise use of heat to reduce blisters or bubbles.
Contact with excessive heat can easily damage your furniture. Possible sources of heat-related problems include serving dishes, cooking pans, cigarettes, cigars and open flame. Relatively minor contact with one of these sources will produce a scorch mark, while the most heavily damaged furniture will develop charring in the affected areas. Scorch repair typically requires buffing and refinishing of the damaged wood. Repair of more serious problems calls for careful removal of the burned material, followed by sanding, leveling and refinishing. In some cases, application of wood filler or shellac is needed to restore missing wood.
Where Does Repair Fit Into the Restoration Process?
If you only want to fix a specific problem with your antique or contemporary furniture, the expert staff at Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing will happily assess the situation, provide you with an accurate price estimate and perform a flawless repair. However, in most cases, repair is just one step in the larger process of restoring your furniture to its former glory. For example, we must address any issues with scratches, gouges or other forms of surface damage before we can sand your furniture and prepare it properly for staining, painting or finish coating. To ensure that your restored furniture is safe for use, we must fix any loose or broken joints, and make sure that each piece is balanced evenly on its legs. Repairs are also a necessary step before upholstering or reupholstering.
Repair of Caning and Rushing
Caning and rushing are two weaving techniques used to create chair seats and backs that provide increased comfort without the need for upholstery. Caning relies on woven strips of dried bark harvested from rattan trees, while rushing relies on dried and woven stalks from the diverse family of plants known as rushes. In addition to repairing your upholstered furniture, the professionals at Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing can repair or replace the materials in a cane-woven or rush-woven chair. The finished product you receive will match each detail of the original material.
Repair of Vandalism Damage
Sometimes, furniture falls prey to purposeful damage through acts of vandalism. Since vandalism is intentional, the damage can be severe. The experts at Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing have extensive experience repairing vandalized chairs, tables and other furniture pieces. We will assess the extent of the damage on each piece you bring to us and tell you exactly what’s needed for proper restoration.
The Furniture Repair Experts
Over four decades of operation in Southern California, Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing has built an exemplary reputation as the region’s home for affordable, quality furniture repair. Regardless of the type of repair you require, we apply the same high level of care, customer service and respect for the beauty and integrity of your antique and contemporary pieces. Call us today to learn more about our restoration procedures and schedule an assessment of the condition of your damaged furniture.