The following terms and definitions can help you better communicate with your local furniture repair shop personnel. As with any industry, furniture repair has its own vocabulary and jargon. If you don’t understand what your furniture repair contact is telling you or you have questions, be sure to ask them to explain until you are certain you’re on the same page/
When paint or the finish on furniture splits and begins to look like alligator skin, it is referred to as alligatoring. This is caused by paint or finish splitting, often because of the type of finish or the way it was applied to the surface and the way it dried. The main way to fix alligatoring is to strip and refinish the piece.
Also known as: crocodiling, paint cracking, paint crackling, crackled appearance
Furniture that is painted, stained, or treated in a way that makes it look older than it is is called antiquing. This is often done to create antique-looking items that are not as rare, expensive or hard to care for as actual antiques. Antiquing can be made possible by faux finishing, glazing, distressing, and other methods. Some furniture repair services can make newer pieces appear antique or can antique repaired areas so they fit in with the rest of the piece. If you have an antique or valuable old piece that needs repair or restoration, be sure that you talk with an antique expert who can advise you on whether repairs will lessen the value of the piece.
Also known as: faux finishing, distressing
Bleeding is when color seeps through underlying surfaces and causes color change. It is usually a sign that the original finish lacked a proper topcoat or dye layer, and that a seal or barrier layer wasn’t properly applied. If your furniture begins to bleed, furniture repair services can often apply a sealant or barrier coat to prevent further bleeding. The piece may need to be stripped and repainted or restained depending on the severity of the problem and your end goal.
Also known as: color bleeding, stain bleeding, color transfer
Wood furniture that has become damaged may be repaired using the burn-in technique. In this technique, furniture repair experts fill in defects by applying a burn-in made of colored resin or shellac and fixing the resin in place with a hot knife, heat stick, or other hot implement.
Also known as: burning, burn-in repairs
When wood furniture and other finished furniture is rubbed repeatedly, causing a shiny area where the friction has worn away the finish. Burnished areas on furniture can be repaired with refinishing methods.
Also known as: worn areas on furniture, burnished finish, shiny patches
The formation of a powdery material on the surface of a piece of furniture because of the disintegration of the surface binder or elastomer is known as chalking. Chalking makes the piece appear less shiny and can cause the piece to appear dull or powdery. Chalking is most often caused by exposure to sunlight or other weathering factors, but heat and chemicals can be triggers as well.
Also known as: paint chalking, paint flaking, paint dusting, powdery finish, powdery paint
Furniture cleaning is the process or removing dust, dirt, and other unwanted materials from the furniture without damaging or changing the integrity of the original piece. Furniture cleaning services are often part of repair services, furniture refinishing, and furniture restoration.
Also known as: furniture cleaning, deep cleaning for furniture, furniture restoration cleaning
commercial furniture repair
Commercial furniture repair and restoration services repair commercial furniture for hotels and other hospitality businesses, commercial companies and offices, insurance companies, and even moving companies that have damaged pieces. Commercial furniture repair is often less expensive than replacing it.
Also known as: commercial furniture care, business furniture repair, office furniture repair, furniture repair for commercial buildings, doctors office furniture repairs, bank furniture repair, hotel furniture repair, moving company damaged furniture repair
The loss of gloss or sheen on the surface of a piece of furniture is known as dulling. Dulling occurs over time and when furniture is exposed to UV light or harsh lighting, heat, chemicals, water, weathering, or other abuse or daily use that slowly grinds away at the original finish. Dulling can be prevented and can be repaired.
Also known as: dull furniture, weathering, UV exposure dulling, dull finish
Furniture that is exposed to sunlight or other UV light sources can fade, leaving streaks, spots, faded areas, and color change. Some furniture repair services can offer furniture preservation that prevents fading. Faded furniture can be restored using restaining and repainting methods.
Also known as: color fading, furniture fading, faded furniture, faded areas on furniture
Refinishing furniture usually involves stripping away the old finish and applying a new finish. This process can be comprehensive or simple, depending on the furniture piece, the area that needs to be refinished, how detailed the furniture is, and the type of existing and desired finish.
Also known as: refinishing services, furniture refinish
Any method of repairing damage to furniture is considered furniture repair. This may include restringing, respringing, restaining, restuffing, repairing cracks and chips, repairing pet damage, replacing legs or tops, replacing or repairing broken elements, buffing, or otherwise repairing the structure or finish of a piece.
Also known as: furniture repair services, broken furniture repair, fixing broken furniture
Restoration refers to light cleaning and cosmetic repairs to a piece of furniture. Restoration maintains the integrity and appearance of the furniture while making it more stable, clean, and attractive. Restoration can maintain or improve the value of a piece of furniture if it is done correctly and by an expert in furniture restoration services.
Also known as: restored furniture, antique restoration, old furniture restoration
Chairs, couches, and other types of seating can need restuffing services. Over time, repeated sitting can make the seating pads on chairs, couches, and dining room chairs become compressed, flat or lumpy. This can make furniture look old and feel uncomfortable. Restuffing adds loft and a like-new appearance.
Also known as: stuffed furniture repair, chair restuffing, couch restuffing
Wood furniture that is exposed to water may experience raised grains, or the swelling and raising of wood fibers when they absorb water. Even when the piece is dry, the grain may stay raised and may have a bumpy, uneven, swollen appearance. Raised wood grain can be hard to repair and may take the skills of an experienced furniture repair service.
Also known as: raised grain, raised wood grain, grain rise, water damaged wood, water damaged furniture, furniture water damage repair
Paint, lacquer, and other finish that is pulling away from a piece of furniture is considered peeling. The culprit is often poor adhesion of the paint or finish, but the causes can vary, including substandard materials, UV exposure, weathering, age, water damage, poor quality substrate, lack of preparation, poor paint application, humidity, and more. Peeling paint may be able to be repaired; it may also have to be stripped and reapplied by a professional.
Also known as: peeling paint, peeling furniture, furniture peeling, finish peeling, flaking paint
Preservation is the act of cleaning, protecting, and repairing furniture in a way that prevents it from becoming further damaged or aged. Preservation techniques may be provided for vintage furniture, antique furniture, valuable furniture, or family heirloom furniture. Furniture preservation aims to lengthen the life of the piece for posterity’s sake.
Also known as: furniture preservation, preserving furniture
preventive care for furniture
Preventing damage to furniture is an area where furniture repair services can help. This entails taking steps to keep furniture from becoming aged or damaged. This may include correct handling, safe moving, environmental conditions (such as temperature and humidity), maintenance and repair, cleaning, and more. Furniture repair shops can often help owners of valuable, antique or rare furniture to formulate and implement a plan for preventative care for those pieces.
Also known as: preventative care for furniture, furniture conservation, preventative conservation, furniture damage prevention
residential furniture repair
Residential furniture repair companies offer furniture repair services for residential customers that have damaged furniture in their homes. Residential furniture repair may include in-home or on-site furniture repair for upholstered, wood, and other types of furniture.
Also known as: residential furniture repairs, home furniture repairs, furniture repair
restringing and respringing
Chairs, couches, and other types of seating can need restringing or respringing. Over time, repeated sitting on seating can break or permanently stretch the strings and springs that provide support to the cushions or seats. Local furniture repair shops can respring and restring the seats to give more support and make them more comfortable.
Also known as: fixing broken furniture springs, fixing furniture support strings
Furniture touch ups include light repairs for scratches, dings, chips, burnishing, and more. Touch ups are done before there is major damage and keep furniture pieces looking new.
Also known as: light repair for furniture, furniture touch up, furniture cosmetic touch ups, touchups
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