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Thread: Need advice on finishing/restoring small table top.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N Illinois
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    4,633

    Need advice on finishing/restoring small table top.

    Acquired this small table recently w pull out tray etc.....The underside, legs etc are fine.They will be easy to restore/wax/bring back to life.
    My dilemma is my approach to the top itself....I'm not sure if it severely damaged by sun, possibly a bad veneer or other?
    Would you simply sand the top and proceed with finishing (matching color if possible) finish with topcoat or is there a better, safer way?
    Your advice will help me before I start....See pictures...Thanks in advance.. I'll wait for your responses...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jerry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central, PA
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    356
    I would start with a chemical stripper. After several tries, switch to a fine grade sandpaper. (220). Not sure from the pictures of the top if the veneer and is starting to delaminate. If that is the situation, might be easier to make a new top. Do test pieces when picking a stain. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    I agree with Ed, I'd use a chemical stripper to remove the existing finish. Go gentle with any sandpaper; veneer is thin and is easy to cut through and then you have bigger problems. Maybe there's a stain or dye on the wood but it doesn't look that way to me. Maybe you'll get lucky and just be able to clearcoat it after the existing finish is removed.

    Check the bottom of the top. If it's the same veneer as on the top then I'd strip that, too, and use it to test out dyes, stains, finishes, to work out a finishing schedule you like before doing the top.

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Nice looking table, Jerry. Definitely worth the effort. Stick with the above advice...chemical stripper, very light sanding. If the stripper doesnít take it off by itself, light work with some 0000 steel wool and stripper should clean it up nicely. Neutralize the stripper with a light cleaning using TSP, but donít let the water stay on the veneer too long. After all that, check for loose veneer, glue down where necessary. Please post when finished, would love to see the restored table.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N Illinois
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    Thank you all... Seems like the chemical stripper is the route to take.
    Having never done any "stripping", what is the best one/brand and source for this type of job you guys would recommend?
    My ignorance is showing, but need your advice now on the best product to buy.
    Thank you again..Looking forward to this new venture,
    Jerry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    Sorry, Jerry, since they outlawed strippers using methylene chloride I'm at a loss as to what works well. Let us know what you choose and how it works out for you. Most any stripper will work if you leave it on long enough.

    As for neutralizing the stripper after the finish is off I advise against water unless the directions say that is the only thing that works. With the strippers I used you could use water or mineral spirits/Naptha. I always used mineral spirits. I did not want to risk water loosening veneer or causing grain raising.

    Good luck.

    John

  7. #7
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    Location
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Averill Park NY
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    240
    I use Citri Strip, which gives good results. Apply a fairly thick coat and let it set for around an hour. It should take that finish off. You may need to spot treat after the first coat. Wipe it down with mineral spirts after you have finished stripping.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N Illinois
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    4,633
    Thanks guys.....Suddenly my "Honey, do" list got longer....But I will try your suggestions and do some "stripping".. Just ordered the CITRI-STRIP thru Amzn..
    Anxious to try....Thanks again,
    Jerry

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