Furniture Restoration & Repairs Gallery

Before & After Photos of Furniture Restorations and Repairs

We can restore the full beauty and functionality of your wooden furniture and family heirlooms with time-old carpentry techniques and attention to detail. Dining tables and chairs get the hardest use in the family home, and eventually need expert furniture repair & restoration from RoNZ Furniture Hospital in Dannevirke. Below are examples of a few of the furniture restoration and repair jobs we have undertaken. While a picture paints a thousand words and our photos speak for themselves, please also view our customer testimonials.

A Badly Water Damaged Australian Dining Table & Chairs

This Australian dining table dates from the early to mid 1800s. It is made from Victorian Ash which characteristically is very uniform and with straight grain. Over the years this table was stored in sub-optimal conditions. It was wet for a prolonged time which discoloured the wood and dissolved the water-soluble animal hide glue. As a result, the table literally came apart at nearly all its joints, including all the tabletop boards. Several braces were missing, so new and extra braces were made and fitted to give the table added strength. The table's finish was stripped, and after sanding and filling some holes and splits with epoxy, the table was given 3 hand-rubbed coats of Tung oil, and then waxed and buffed to a soft lustre.

Chair prior to any restorative work.

Table base after repairs and refinishing.


Australian Table and 4 Chairs

Fully Restored

After many hours of careful attention to detail and restoring full functionality, the table and chairs are ready to rejoin the family in the dining room. The chairs were re-upholstered by our local upholsterer.


Restoration of Round-about (Merry Go-Round) Rocking Horse


What a wonderful childhood memory the grandchildren will develop after riding the dusty trails with this beauty. Considering the age of this wooden horse (the early 1900s), it was in relatively good condition. Being built of thick solid wood, the timber expanded and contracted with the seasonal gain and loss of moisture, resulting in some superficial non-structural cracking. The leather saddle had dried out, resulting in some flaking and cracking, the left stirrup was missing. A turned dowel was missing, as was the tail. Both rockers had seen better days and were perishing. One rocker had been badly chewed by borer and a dog, and both were unsafe for small ones.


The cracks were filled and a minimal amount of touching-up using standard colours of their day (burnt umber etc). The saddle repairs were made by a local upholsterer, and a new stirrup was fashioned by one of Dannevirke's skilled metalworkers. New rockers were made from Vitex (plantation grown in the Solomon Islands) and stained black. A newly turned dowel was made and coloured antique red. A new tail was made from cord and fitted.

It is my opinion that this wooden horse was originally mounted on a Round-about (British) Merry Go-round (American), as there is a substantial post under the horse and the rockers and platform are clearly later additions. 

The horse is now safe for children to ride, and it now looks like it has been continuously well-cared for over its long life.

Jobs like this one make for a very interesting time in the workshop making repairs and searching for data on the internet.

Rimu Side-table Restoration


The woman I bought this table from thought it was Kauri, a common mistake, as Rimu bleaches in the sun and ends up looking like Kauri. At some stage, it was put into storage in an outbuilding and was not used for several years before being listed For Sale on the internet.


The first task was to disassemble the table: remove the top, and separate the legs from the rails. A fresh joint for the top was made and re-glued. Floating tenons replaced the dowels holding the legs and rails together.


The table served several generations of rural folks in the Tararua District. Over time it needed repairs, and some rough and ready work was done on it. Over time, it became unusable and was put into less than ideal storage.


Hardwood glue blocks were made and installed. The table was stripped of its old finish. Oxalic acid was used to remove unwanted staining and to even up discolouration. 


Due to being wet for long periods, the original hide glue (which remains water-soluble) let go of the top boards, as well as the dowels holding the legs to the rails. Several dowels were broken. The original glue blocks had been replaced with some split Totara and nailed to the rails, which did nothing to stabilise the table.


The table was then sanded and 3 coats of hand-rubbed Tung Oil were applied, before 2 coats of wax were applied and buffed by hand. Wax on, Wax off.

The table was sold at the 2021 Martinborough Fair.

Restoring a Water-damaged German Wall Hang Oak Cupboard

This hand-carved German Hanging Wall Cupboard is made from European Oak. It was damaged when the shipping container leaked while being transported from Germany to New Zealand. It stayed locked up in the humid container for over a year. By the time the cupboard was removed from the container, the water-soluble hide-glue had been washed from the joints, and the shellac finish was ruined. 

All the joints had to be cleaned of the old glue and dirt, then glued up using waterproof glue. The remaining finish was then stripped, the cupboard was sanded, stained to its original colour, and finished with 3 coats of Tung Oil and 2 coats of wax.

The cupboard is a family heirloom, one of the very few items that remain from the grandfather's estate.

The Wall-hanging cupboard was disassembled into component parts to ensure the restoration will be complete and lasting.

Refinish Mahogany Veneer Sideboard


This well-made mahogany veneer sideboard was damaged by water and exposure to the sun.


A few minor repairs were effected, then the entire exterior was stripped of the existing finish, and then sanded.



The finish was shellac, which while lovely to look at is not very durable, hence the clouding of the finish. 



Three coats of Tung Oil was then applied and two coats of hand-rubbed wax. The lustre now matches (or exceeds) that of its original shellac finish

Badly Weathered Solid Rimu Dining Table

This table had a long useful life, but at some stage was stored under a tree or in a leaking shed. Nevertheless, the split top was able to be made seamless. It was then stripped of its old finish and given three coats of hand-rubbed Tung Oil followed by two coats of hand-buffed wax.

Restoration of Rimu Kitchen Cupboard

This Kitchen Cupboard was originally owned by my client's grandmother. Over the years it was painted, repainted, and repainted again. As usually happens in such cases, some paint gets into crevasses and borer holes, all of which go to make up the character of the item. This cupboard was re-glued and strengthened. The hardboard panels in the upper door were replaced with some Rimu ply I had recovered from some pews I shortened in Greytown. The cupboard was then stripped, sanded, had two coats of Tung Oil applied by hand, then two coats of wax buffed by hand. The metal hardware was stripped and buffed to a soft lustre. This fantastic piece of Colonial History now lives in the great granddaughter's rural home. 


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