Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Photo finish wood


Hi, we think our dining room has a photo finish. It is losing it shine and getting lighter in the used areas. I want to know what can I use on it to protect it. I thought about getting stain with vanish or ploy in it, but not sure if that will work. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Sue

Thanks for your email.
Usually when they speak of a photo finish; its a picture taken on a very thin paper and placed, very strategically on a substrate. (cardboard, panels etc.)
There is also a Faux finish (French) and pronunced foe - which replicates materials such as marble and wood with paint.
If your finsh is losing it's shine and getting lighter in the used areas. it sounds at though it would be a lacquer finsh.
I liked your idea of purchasing a varnish or poly product; already having been tinted.
A stain by itself; won't ahere to your existing finish.

You will have to prepare your existing finish on the table; to accept the new product.
This could be done; by going over the table with a 320 to 340 grit sandpaper (wet or dry)
This breaks the resilient coat on the existing finish; and by using a lighter grit, you don't have as much to fill.
Clean off the sanded residue with Naptha or turpentine.

We use a tinted oil finish (eg. Zar)- in our woodcare business.
Oils are much more forgiving when applying with a foam bursh. (4 inch)
How large is your table?  You will need to put the tinted finish on the entire table; when you are applying.
Apply the oils in the direction of the grain in the wood. This way the product blends-in a little better.
I would like to see a picture of your table.

As you know; the best way and the most professional way, is to strip the table and start over.

Please let me know if this helps at all and email with any further questions.

Good luck,
Joe Eldredge
Conscientious Wood Care LLC

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Joseph A. Eldredge


We have been in the wood care business for almost 30 years (we are still learning) We do refurbishing and touch-up of furniture, paneling, antiques etc. The number one question that we receive; is what do I use on my furniture, to keep it looking moisturized, clean and get the depth perception back into the finish. I believe we can help on products to use and answer questions on why we don't use certain products that are available to us. I am sure that there are many questions on wood care that we can't answer; but, give us a try anyway. We find that many people use products for maintaining the wooden furniture, etc., and can't understand the reason it looks worse as they continue to use certain products. Most people use the products that their mothers and grandmothers used. Finishes on furniture have come a long way; from shellacs, waxes, varnishes etc. Give us an email and see if we can help with some of your questions and concerns.


Have worked in Omni, Brown Palace etc. hotels. Have refurbish items in the Colorado Govenors mansion and the Colorado Capital building etc. We have been caring for millions of dollars worth of furniture and antiques for large corporations for years.

Have received certificates from numerous companies who teach wood care clases through-out the country.

©2016 All rights reserved.