Solid birch table refinishing - very nervous, will this work?

gayledMarch 16, 2011

I've been looking for a solid birch table and chairs. I found exactly what I was looking for at a local store, except it was the wrong color. The table has one leave and six parson style chairs, 2 arm, 4 side, manufactured by Canadel. The owner of the store (which has a few locations and has been around for many years)has a shop where they used to build custom furniture, but no longer do, probably because of imports/demand etc. He quoted me a price to refinish the table/chairs to the color that I would like. He says they have a "spraying booth" and are well versed in refinishing since they used to build furniture for many years. He quoted me a price of $3,000 for the floor model refinished. If I were to order the set, it would be $4500.

He spent an hour with me explaining that this was not difficult for his shop to handle. So, I gave him a deposit and now I'm very nervous.

Questions - I explained that I wanted a very durable finish on the table top that I didn't have to baby. What kind of finish would be best? I'm embarrassed to say, I never even asked what he would use. He just reassured me over and over again, that I would be very happy and it would be "better" than the factory.

Will the factory finish be harder than what he can do?

Advice please. Should I kill this deal and order a new one? Obviously, I'd love to save money, but I don't want to forsake quality.

Thanks for your comments, suggestions, opinions.

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Should be OK, can you refuse it, if it is not to your liking?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 5:55PM
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Second sloyd's hope that you can refuse if you don't like it. Staining birch can be difficult, but being able to spray can make it easier. The fact the dealer has a spray booth suggests he might know what he's doing. For a dining room table you want a good waterproof finish--I would think almost certainly a varnish, probably a polyurethane varnish or phenolic resin varnish. Note that varnishes can take a while to harden. Like months sometimes. Watch the surface of the table in low-angled backlighting after removing a heavy object that's been sitting on it awhile. If you see a depression or little dents in the varnish, use a tablecloth for awhile (a few months), and remove everything from the table when you're not using it. Alternatively, don't obsess, as my wife is always telling me, and just use it. It's a dining room table, not a museum exhibit.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 6:43PM
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