Restore table top

rcdoveSeptember 19, 2009

I have a 1962 Broyhill dining room set. The table top is is excellent condition except around the edges of the table. The finish seems to be almost to bare wood. Have not been able to get it to look like the rest of the table. Is there anything I can do short of refinishing the whole table top? I have pictures of how it looks, but don't know how to submit them for viewing.

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bobismyuncle

If by "edges of the table," you mean the molded edges, there is hope. If it extends onto the flat of the table, there still might be a chance. Unless refinished by a DIYer, the finish on there is almost certainly lacquer. You can add lacquer onto lacquer and it will chemically bond ("burn in.") If you have used Pledge or other silicone-containing products, stop here; touch up will be difficult.

First, do a thorough cleaning. Start with Dawn and water, wipe, then wipe dry and let thoroughly dry. Then dampen a rag with naphtha or mineral spirits and wipe. Observe the table immediately after wiping -- this will give you a preview of what the wood will look like with new finish on it.

If the color is lost, you need to add color. This is best done with a toner -- lacquer with color in it. Go very, very easy on this -- a little goes a long way and it goes from not quite there to too much color in a flash. These are professional products, so you will have to find a place that caters to touch up people or refinishers and you will find this in 11 oz aerosol cans in close to 100 different colors. Mohawk is a large distributor and a few local stores have started to carry their products in retail mode.

Now add a couple of light coats of clear lacquer, again in aerosol cans. If the damage is on the molding only, mask off the top with green lacquer tape (e.g., 3M's 2060) and masking paper. If you need to do a bit of the top, spray off the edge and down. You will have to get a match on the sheen of the overall table. Most manufacturers will have a range -- no sheen (sometimes called "oil"), dead flat, flat, satin, semi-gloss, gloss, ultra-gloss).

But, if this is a 1962 table, the finish may be due for a strip and refinish. Touch up will buy you some time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sample products

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 6:25PM
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rcdove

From what our table looks like it sounds like you gave good ideas on how to fix our table. It is not the molded edges. It is the top part of the table. Like where everyone lays their elbows and rubs the edges. With worn edges from 1/2" to 2". I have pictures but haven't figured out how to show. So thanks for your help

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 5:19PM
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bobismyuncle

Well then the same would apply. All you have to loose is a couple of hours cleaning and $15 on supplies. Worst case is go off and strip it (or live with your repairs).

You may need to do some rubbing to the top to get the edge halo to blend in.

To show pictures, upload them to a photo hosting web site (e.g., photobucket) and insert a link here.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 7:19PM
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rcdove

First time to use the photobucket. Hope this is how you can get the pictures. Thanks for your help

http://s758.photobucket.com/albums/xx228/RCDove/

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 9:13PM
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bobismyuncle

That's going to be a tough one to blend. I recommend biting the bullet and doing a strip and refinish.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://s758.photobucket.com/albums/xx228/RCDove/

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 5:32PM
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bobismyuncle

This is probably caused from chronic exposure to body oils (unless there was a specific incident of solvent spillage). The best prevention for this is a regular cleaning to remove accumulations. I see this a lot on the backs of dining chairs, armchair arms, and front edges of desks and tables.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 5:34PM
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rcdove

Thank you for all your help. Was hoping I could just do something with the edges, but as you say will bite the bullet and strip and refinish the whole top. Hate to think of it as there are three leafs also. Oh well. Thanks again. Really appreciate your help

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 7:18PM
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