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Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Maple Student Desk - follow up- help



I asked a question several months back about refinishing an old student desk.  I sent photos. Well we finally started yesterday and I have run into a problem.  
We are putting on the tung oil and the directions on the can said to apply then wait 5-10 minutes and buff.  When I did that it was too dry and started flaking.  So then we put another coat of tung oil and then tried again.  Same thing.  So my husband decided to just put more oil on and let it dry.  We had planned to put 3 coats on like you suggested.  I'm worried now what we are going to find after 24 hours.  
Should we take all the oil off and start over?  
Also in your instructions before you said not to sand. Well, there was a black stain on the top of the desk so my husband sanded the top.  We see that the side look so much better without the sanding.  
For our next project can you tell me how to get out any stains without sanding. We hope to do a cedar chest.
Thanks so much!

ANSWER: Hi Pamela
Sorry to hear about this.
First, I would like to know what kind of tung oil you are using but I suspect the can says 100% pure tung oil.
I use the one that is thinned with solvents.
To clear this up for you, please read this.

At this point, I would simply apply a coat of stripper and remove all the oil you applied using the steel wool as per my info.
Then get a can of either Minwax or Circa tung oil in a low or satin sheen. Not 100% pure oil.
You will have no problems with it.
How to remove stains in wood furniture depends on what type of stain it is.
Here is a very helpful site

And heres another
It is too bad you decided to sand (against my advice LOL), but now you have learned what happens and you won't do that again.
As you saw, sanding removes the woods age patina.
Do not let hubby sand the cedar chest.
Good luck with your next project. When you start, get back to me with a picture.
I would love to see it before you start.
Kind Regards

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


I want to make sure I understand.  Are you saying we need to start completely over and strip off everything.  We put 2 coats of stain before applying the tung oil.   
The brand we are using is MinWax, Tung Oil Finish.  Is this what you normally would use?

Yes, I told my husband not to sand, but he thought he knew best and wanted the black stain off the top of the desk.

Thanks for your help, Pamela

Hi again Pam
Well it sounds like you used the correct finish but like I said you do not buff it.
Yes I meant strip only the top again. Just a matter of 5 minutes work.
Re-apply stain, then wait till thats fully dry..overnight is good.
Then apply the oil letting it dry very well between coats. No buffing, but after the first coat of oil, and because you sanded, you may need to use the steel wool for a gentle rub to remove any raised grain.
If you do not want to strip everything off, simply take your steel wool and give the top a real good rubbing with the grain. Raise a bit of dust with the wool.
Good Luck

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Eileen Cronk


Hi..I can answer most questions about the repairing,stripping and refinishing of all your old furniture and wood items(the things we call antiques)I can give advice about what to buy/avoid at auctions/flea markets. I do not give appraisals on antiques.


I have been refinishing antiques for the past 30yrs. While I have taken several courses over the years,I have found that "hands on" learning is the best teacher. Perhaps I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I made while learning.

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