What happens to wood finish?

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Forum topic by Cantputjamontoast posted 10-03-2010 06:53 PM 1242 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 3992 days

10-03-2010 06:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing traditional resource maple pine refurbishing

I have a couple of pieces of furniture(childs desk,chair, dresser) that I wish to store. I don’t wish to sell or part with this stuff and as I look at it, it would go for big bucks new. My parents probably made a genuine sacrifice to buy it then and it served me well when I was first married to about 20 years until we got stuff that matched.

Going to store in an unheated DRY second story garage. Upstate NY temps and humidity ranges are horrible, 95 deg 90% humidity in August and friggin cold ( as low as -5) in January and February.

I will cover both pieces with cotton canvas for protection.

The finish is not oil but some kind of vanish or poly from the early 70’s.

QUESTION: What’s going to happen to the finish?

I’m mostly a lurker here admiring all the stuff you folks make. Soon I’ll have finished laying about 550 sf of wide pine flooring that’s about as close to woodworking as I am getting.

Thank you in advance.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

4 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6761 posts in 3754 days

#1 posted 10-03-2010 08:22 PM

I think you’d be safe in storing the furniture, as long as no moisture gets to it, and keepin it in storage where it’s dark. As long as no sunlight, dampness, or other elements get to it, you’ll be ok….. I’ve got a couple of pieces that belonged to my mom and dad from the 40’s, and they are still in good shape…..Most finishes are pretty tough, even those they pit on that far back…..I think you’re good to go…...Others may chime in and have a different opinion…..

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View wisno's profile


88 posts in 3571 days

#2 posted 10-04-2010 03:38 AM

I think you must check your finishing material.
It may be already in not good condition.

Good luck



View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 3410 days

#3 posted 10-04-2010 05:08 AM

If the finish is a film—like varnish—it will suffer. There is no way the humidity is going to be stable in there, and wood is hygroscopic—it loves moisture—and moisture will get in and the operative word is expando. Then when those summer temps hit, out it goes, and the wood slims up like a cheerleader going to her 20th high school reunion. Then the varnish starts to pop and peel. You will not like the result of this storage option, in my opinion.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View a1Jim's profile


117782 posts in 4137 days

#4 posted 10-04-2010 05:10 AM

I think would I’d put a ton of furniture wax on it before storing it. No guarantee but it should help

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