Tips to restore (not refinish) wooden table?

I really like my table, but 6 yrs of abuse from children and it looking a bit ugly. It has a few tons in it a dark cherry and a dark brown and I want it to keep its color, grain, etc. Should I still sand and varnish it? Should I just sand and use something else on it? Thanks!

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You can use a light car pre-wax cleaner, to get all the gunk off. Rub with the grain. Then put a good carnuba paste wax on it. You will be surprised what a good car wax and cleaner will do to restore old furniture.

    Source(s): Retired Electrician
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    The finish gummed up because it was a regular lacquer finish. Any soap will cause it to gum, so will sweat and plasticizers found in plastic products. $400 sounds a little steep for the refinishing job. Lacquer is easy for a professional to remove. Get some liquid stripper and take the finish off, I find it works better than the gel or paste strippers for lacquer. Then wipe it clean with lacquer thinner. Let the table dry for a few days before trying to sand or refinish. The strippers and lacquer thinner leach into the pores and need time to dry out, the surface may feel dry but there is some still down in the pores... trust me! If the wood is natural color (no stain), only light sanding will be needed before applying finish If it is stained, lightly sand, apply stain and then apply finish. I would suggest a satin polyurethane, glossier finishes will show scratches and dents more in the future. Just about any brand will work, but the first coat should be thinned one third with paint thinner or mineral spirits. lightly sand (320 or 400 grit) after allowing plenty of time to dry between coats. If you brush the finish, be sure to use the proper brush, some brushes will streak more than others. Ask at the hardware store what brush to use. Also, assuming that the legs are in good shape, you should be able to just lightly sand them with 400 grit and apply a coat or two of polyurethane. The same applies to any area where the finish has not softened or been damaged. Protect these areas when stripping. Another option to get a better finish, ask the same person for a quote to spray the finish only, you do the stripping. They should be able to do it for under $100 is my guess. Good luck and have fun! PS..... this is only if the table is solid wood and not vaneer, if it is vaneer, then shell out the $400!

  • 8 years ago

    It will depend on whether your table is solid wood, or a veneered surface. Veneers can't be sanded. Solid wood can. If you sand off the current finish, you can apply another stain, some rubbing oil or just polyurethane it over the bare wood.

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