What is the difference between Furniture Repair, Antique Restoration, and Museum Conservation?

Furniture Repair refers to fixing simple breaks, or joints which have come loose. For example, a chair may have become loose and squeaky. This would necessitate taking the chair apart as far as possible, cleaning all the joints, then flooding the joints with glue and clamping-up the chair under pressure.

Antique Restoration refers to the situation where an item has been badly damaged, and/or perhaps stored in less than ideal conditions (such as 3 decades in a shearing shed). New parts may need to be made, a badly damaged finish may need to be stripped off and refinished. If the items require refinishing, RoNZ usually refinishes using Tung Oil and wax. The goal of Restoration is to be able to use your furniture in everyday life. Thus our motto: "Furniture is meant to be used and enjoyed"

Museum Conservation is a specialist branch; having a unique set of rules and guidelines. The objective is to maintain the appearance of an item as near as possible to when it was originally made and to store it in such a way as to slow its deterioration. Touching-up damage is preferred to refinishing, which is rarely allowed. Repairs are made as un-intrusively as possible, where appearance over functionality is the rule. Once the work is completed, the items are often kept in archival storage for long periods before being put on display in the museum. In such a situation, chairs and desks are for "looking at and admiring", rather than for sitting down and writing a letter.

The focus of RoNZ Furniture Hospital is to return items to daily usable condition, not merely for looking at or keeping locked away for posterity.

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