Stabilizing Wet Furniture and Wood
Facts about wood[edit | edit source]
Because wood is porous it will easily take up and release water and expand and contract.
What to expect when wood gets wet[edit | edit source]
- Because wood move differently in different directions, contracting at different rates it is prone to warping and cracking as it dries.
- Surface layers on artifacts (e.g. paints and varnishes)become fragile when damp, and are easily lost or damaged so great care is needed in handling.
- Hide or fish glues commonly used on wooden objcts and furniture are softened by moisutre, so joins may separate and veneers may lift.
- Drawers and doors may stick.
- Mold may grow on damp wooden surfaces
Drying wood[edit | edit source]
- If wood is fully wet and dirty consider rinsing it with clean water
- Pat dry, don't wipe
- Dry slowly, not in direct heat; cover with polyethylene to slow drying if necessary
- If possible, open doors and drawers to allow air to circulate
- Remember that you can take the back off if you need to
- Be prepared to freeze show fabrics from upholstered items. If you have cotton stuffing material you will almost certainly need to replace it. Horsehair stuffing can usually be saved.
Salvage priorities[edit | edit source]
- Objects of composite construction (e.g. musical instruments objects with inlay)
- Objects with veneer/fine surfaces