Humidity knocking you around? What's it doing to your furniture?

Just as we are affected by the weather so is our timber furniture, especially during periods of high humidity. Timber furniture, including pieces which are sealed or finished, will absorb and release moisture depending on the conditions, and may require maintenance.

You may notice that certain drawers in your furniture open easily in the cooler/drier months but become jammed or stuck during summer. While most furniture will not be structurally damaged by a normal range of moisture changes, your furniture may require some general maintenance to help keep it functional and looking its best.

As a natural product, timber will always be susceptible to outside environmental factors and movement from humidity and dryness is normal. The only way to avoid movement in furniture is to build with man-made materials such as plastics or MDF which in my opinion do not carry the same aesthetic and warmth that timber furniture offers.

Timber furniture is also affected by seasonal changes other than humidity. Just as high humidity can cause timber movement through swelling, extreme dryness can also cause timber to shrink and crack through lack of moisture. The sun can also cause extensive damage to timber and furniture finishes causing colour changes and degrading the finished surface. High variances in temperature or proximity to air conditioning and heating vents can also cause movement and damage within your furniture.

During my Churchill Fellowship in 2006 I worked with Marlborough House in the UK who maintains furniture for the Royal Palaces including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. With the introduction of modern central heating into the palaces mid last century, pieces of furniture made hundreds of years ago by master craftsmen using fully seasoned timbers, have developed cracks and splits due to drying out of the timber. Even in such controlled environments, timber furniture is still subject to movement and hence is regularly serviced. So it’s no wonder that in Australia’s harsh environment, with high variances in levels of humidity and extreme ultraviolet light, that timber furniture is more susceptible to movement and damage to finishes.

Let me bring your furniture back to life with a furniture service. A couple of hours is usually all it takes to revive your furniture with a clean and wax and to make small on-site repairs such as improving the appearance of small dents or getting drawers to run smoothly.

Please contact me on 0414 400 172 or email

Learn more about furniture care and maintenance.