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dining table refinish

Posted by mariap (My Page) on
Mon, May 11, 09 at 10:41

Hello- I have a Kipling table from Crate and Barrel. Mahogany with espresso finish. The finish is very finicky. It reveals a ghost mark any time anything is placed on it even remotely warm or moist.( I think this includes breathing on it) It is also badly scratched even though it is not even a year old.
I am not fond of the color and I don't think it will match my new cabinets which will be painted in a Swedish style gray/blue.
What should I do with this thing? Keep a table cloth on it? Should I refinish it? Can I stain it a lighter color? Can I paint over that high maintenance finish? Would that be a terrible thing to do to a mahogany table? Should we just hold our breath when we eat?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: dining table refinish

Mahogany, Crate & Barrel? I doubt it. There are many different species of wood sold as "mahogany." It takes some creative marketing to come up with terms such as Brazilian Cherry (Ipe'), Malaysian Oak (Parawood), and Phillipine Mahogany (Luaun).

Here is a link that might be useful: See the second paragraph here

RE: dining table refinish

Thank you! Yes indeed- considering what I paid for it, I was curious about the "mahogany" myself.(Could they be talking about the color?)
I will take Joseph's advice and have a professional take care of it.Maybe he can tell me what kind of wood it is.
(I had a feeling that a coat of paint might be a serious furniture infraction. I am glad I asked!)

RE: dining table refinish

There is MAHOGANY and there there is mahogany. It grows all over the world under different specie names. If you have Honduran Mahogany, then you have yourself a piece of wood. If its from the Phillipines, then not so much so.

Here'e the cheap and cheerful fix for you. Go over the entire table with mineral spirits and wipe it down well. Then steel wool the entire top with # 0000 grade staying with the grain of the table and resist the urge to wool the top in an arc with your arm. The steel wool will knock down all your hairline scratches. Now, go to Lowes or Home Depot and get a pint of Paste Varnish (Bartley Brand or similar). Clear or tinted, either one. With a clean rag, apply the paste varnish to the top, keeping it VERY dry. No wet coverage, just enough to put material on the top. DRY-DRY-DRY (did I mention to keep it dry?) Let it dry well, then if you feel any 'nits' in the topcoat, knock the nits down with a 3M scrub pad and apply one more dry coat. Any further nits can be lightly knocked down as well, then follow with a coat of paste wax of your choice.

All done. The paste varnish will cover the scratches and you have a barrier against mild heat (not hot!). For under $ 20 you can fix it up.

RE: dining table refinish

Fantastic- Thank you thecollector that is just what I needed. My carpenter was here and he said it did look like solid wood - but he couldn't tell just what kind of wood. I will try that paste varnish ASAP.

RE: dining table refinish

Hi Everyone! I just thought I would add a short story on what I did with a table I found in a wood burn pile. It had blue paint on parts of it and some kind of glue goo spilled here and there. Looked to be made of good quality wood, so I invested some serious love. Sanded every inch. Started with course, to med, fine, then super fine. Process took me 5 day's. What did I find underneath? "Honduras Mahogany." Stained it with Gunstock, and found some scratches on the table's top not seen by the naked eye, and started the sanding process over. Once all was perfectly stained, I decided to go the full 9 yards. Meaning Boiled Linseed oil. Knowing the value of the wood, made it worth the effort it would take to apply this type of finish.
Now 9 day's later I am so glad I did. I may be so sore I can hardly move now, but the results were breathtaking beauty that will out live my Grandchildren. A lot to be said for doing it the old fashion hard way. Word's just can't describe it's beauty!

RE: table refinish

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

RE: dining table refinish

If you can determine what the top coat is and remove it, and you are happy with the existing stain, it should be a fairly straight forward task to re-finish your tables.
P.S. You might start a new thread here, and/or woodworking forum to get some help.

RE: dining table refinish

thank you are right I should start a new thread instead of hijacking this one. Thanks

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