Restora­tion brings out wood’s beauty


Work­ing with wood is one of the most sat­is­fy­ing of crafts. For over 30 years Acorn Fur­ni­ture owner Peter Feekes has had the plea­sure of both creat­ing and restor­ing wooden fur­ni­ture. In his work­shop on the cor­ner of Grey and Al­bert St, Peter can be found tak­ing apart, strip­ping off paint or lac­quer and re­con­struct­ing many a cus­tomer’s favourite but tired pieces of fur­ni­ture.

Peter has any num­ber of restora­tion projects un­der­way.

‘‘I get a lot of plea­sure restor­ing a qual­ity piece of fur­ni­ture, and many of the pieces I re­store have been in a fam­ily for a long time. They want them re­stored so they can con­tinue to be passed on to the next gen­er­a­tion.’’

He also gets work from peo­ple who may be mov­ing into a smaller home or unit and want to keep one or two of their favourite pieces.

‘‘Over time they may have gath­ered a few su­per­fi­cial bumps and scratches, and the orig­i­nal lac­quer may have started to dis­colour. By strip­ping off the old lac­quer and then ap­ply­ing a wax oil fin­ish, the fur­ni­ture will look as good as new if not bet­ter.’’

Much of the fur­ni­ture Peter re­stores is oak or walnut made in the early to mid 20th cen­tury, but he does have the odd piece from ear­lier times, as well as some made from na­tive tim­ber dat­ing from the seven­ties.

‘‘Peo­ple are quite sur­prised when they see how beau­ti­ful the wood is un­der­neath the old lac­quer or paint, and with pieces that are well made in the first place, it’s quite a sim­ple job to re­pair dam­aged parts and even re­place ar­eas that have some borer dam­age.’’

The tech­nique Peter uses in­volves care­fully re­mov­ing the old lac­quer with stripper and steel wool so there is no dam­age to the wood. Once the wood is cleaned up, it is treated with a Woodoc fin­ish­ing prod­uct. This deep pen­e­trat­ing liq­uid wax con­tains a hard­ener for added pro­tec­tion.

‘‘As the wax pen­e­trates you can see the wood come back to life. It adds depth and en­hances the nat­u­ral grain of any wood and when dust­ing you only need to use a clean cloth and oc­ca­sion­ally re-feed the wood with the wax to re­vi­talise the shine.’’

Acorn Fur­ni­ture also stocks a com­plete range of strip­ping and pol­ish­ing prod­ucts for the home handy­man and you’ll find more in­for­ma­tion on his web­site: acorn­fur­ni­

In the shop Wed­nes­days to Fri­day from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Peter is also of­ten pot­ter­ing in the work­shop on Mon­days and Tues­days. So if you have a restora­tion project, call in and see him, or phone 356 5559 and check out some of his be­fore and af­ter shots on Face­book: www.face­­fur­ni­ture1.

Be­fore and af­ter photos of the type of restora­tion that can be achieved when us­ing the right prod­ucts and tech­niques.

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