table refinishing

jleekOctober 3, 2011

Perhaps clicksmama can answer a question I have. I have "stacking tables" (my mothers) stamped Henredon fine furniture on the underneath. My sunporch has seven sets of sliders an two skylights, hence, furniture takes terrible abuse. The tabletops are now "sticky" to the touch and everything placed on them either sticks or leaves a mark. The wood is perfectly fine. What is my best way of restoring the tops? mineral spirits and linseed oil? No polyuathane? Thanks

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In order to find out what the finish is you will need to start this ordered process.

1. Apply 2-3 drops of denatured alcohol or methanol to a small spot (out of the way spot)of finish. If the finish softens or dissolves, the finish is shellac. If it doesn't go to step 2.

2. Repeat above with Lacquer Thinner. If the finish softens or dissolves, the finish is lacquer.

3. If the finish was done after 1990, it could be a water-based finish. If it was, get back to me and we can discuss what to do.

If lacquer thinner doesn't cut it, it is varnish or CV, or most likely another reactive finish. Doubtful.

If it is 1 or 2, use the solvent with soft cloth to remove the finish. It will likely take several applications to completely remove all of the finish. Next examine the pieces for chips, cracks, or areas of missing or damaged stain. Let us know what you find. Depending on the value of the piece and what you want to use the tables for, we can talk about what type of finish to proceed with.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 11:07AM
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try posting your same query on the woodworking forum, if you need some other input. Have you progressed any yet?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 11:28AM
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Most likely the finish is lacquer and they were cleaned at some time with an orange oil product.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 9:49AM
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Haven't really gotten much further with the refinishing of the table. I appreciate the two of you offering suggestions and I definitely will give both tests a try RRMI. Will report back afterwards. Thanks again Jacque

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 10:40AM
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