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restore a finish on oak table

Posted by jea2007 (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 24, 09 at 10:19

I just recieved an oak table that is a big dinged up. It has a natural color finish, not my favorite, but the price (free) was right.
So my first step is to try some restore-a-finish, so far on the leaf and the legs it is working good, but the regular table is more dinged up. My questions are, can or should I do more than one coat, will repeat coats help?

If as time goes on I decide to try and darken the table, maybe with a gel stain treatment what can I use to remove the restore-a-finish stuff as they say don't poly over the restore-a-finish. Would gel stain even work? Maybe in a dark walnut type color, I have painted and reupholstered chairs (black paint and zebra seats) that I am going to use with the table.

Perhaps if it becomes that much of an issue the best would be to strip it and restain it from scratch. For now I just want to get using it as we have no other table.

Thanks for any advice

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: restore a finish on oak table

Since the ingredients in Restor-a-finish are trade secret petroleum distillates, I would not have a clue. Maybe you should ask them.

RAF does not build up a film finish, it merely cleans the surface and leaves an oil film (like polish).

Sarcasm aside, if it is indeed petroleum distillates, naphtha and a bunch of clean rags should remove most of it.

But I would recommend
a) a barrier coat of shellac both to seal in the residual oils and to isolate the original coat (most likely lacquer) and gel stain

b) using a non-poly varnish. Since Valspar bought Cabot last year, they've re-branded McCloskey's Heirloom (soya-alkyd) varnish as Cabot 8000 series. While you have to look for this "outside the Norm," it is readily available at independent paint stores carrying Valspar and also at Do-it-Best hardware stores, even if you have to use the free "ship to store" option.

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