Wood Refinishing Questions

fandlilMarch 7, 2011

We have an oak kitchen table with a parquet design.When we bought it in the 1960s, it had an almost black stain with a satin finish. All we did to take care of it was wipe it with a damp cloth and sometimes with lemon oil. That finish lasted until about 8 years ago when the acid in some salad dressing damaged it.

We had it professionally refinished. The color was now a dark brown, not like the almost black we had originally, and the satin sheen on the finish looked good. We were told to just wipe it with a damp cloth. Unfortunately, this finish has started to wear off in several places, even though we have been careful to use trivets with hot dishes and placemats.

So we want to refinish the table again and are not sure how to go about it. The finish on there now has aluminum in it -- that's all I know about it. I ihink my preference is to have it restained nearly black as it was originally and finished with a few coats of either polyurethane or really good old fashioned wax.

Do professional finishers do this kind of work, or do they just use these quick commercial products that are easy to apply, but don't last long?

If I decide to refinish the table myself, how big a job is it? How messy to strip the old finish, restain and refinish?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanx.

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Sawbuck70

A large table is a tough first refinishing project to do yourself, stripping it may work out fine, but a large flat surface is difficult for the best of finishers, if you want that "perfect" finish. I suggest trying your hand at finding a small piece of furniture that you can use as a practice piece, then you can decide on doing the table yourself or going to a pro. If you tell a refinisher what you are unhappy about with the existing finish, they will be able to use products you like. Do an internet search on durable table top finishes, visit a couple name brand coating company's website like: Sherwin Williams, Valspar, Varathane, M L Campbell. Just for your info, we use Sherwin Williams Sherwood conversion varnish - water white - dull sheen, over a hi build vinyl sealer. It give the best protection of anything I have found in over 30 years or so.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 1:44PM
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