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Need to re-finish an old table...

I have my granddad's old table. It's nothing fancy so I'm not worried about loosing value. It was either a piece he bought unfinished or he built it himself in the mid 50s-60s and put a light stain and a varnish or a shellac to finish it.
This table has seen countless family dinners, board games and more through the years and shows it's age in spots where the finish is starting to peel. I would like to refinish it to help protect it for another 50+ years. I also want to put a darker stain on it.
Ultimately the question is: What is the easiest way to remove the existing finish while maintaining the look of a table that has survived generations of loving use?

Re: Need to re-finish an old table...


If you are tryng for an aged patine rather than a perfect glossy look, you might try one of the finish restorers. These partially disolve the finish and then let it reset. "Formsby" makes such a product. Home Depot also has a similar product from a different manufacturer.

You can obviously strip the table and put a urethane finish on it, but this ends up looking somewhat plastic, albeit the most durable for daily use.

Re: Need to re-finish an old table...

not looking for an aged finish, I guess the real question is what do I use to strip the original finish? I'd like to avoid using a sander to keep some of the nicks and scratches in the wood visible as opposed to sanding it down to look new.

Re: Need to re-finish an old table...

First try alcohol. If it is shellac the alcohol will dissolve it, if it doesn't try the Formsby furniture restorer. If you want to take it down to bare wood so you can re stain, you will need to use a paint and varnish remover.


Re: Need to re-finish an old table...

Thanks Jack, that's the info I was looking for.:)

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