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Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Table Top Waterproofing


QUESTION: Hi, I have a drop leaf table that is approximately 160 years old. It has been refinished 3 times.  It is presently a light pecan finish.  I would like to know if the table top itself can be waterproofed (as well as additional leaves).  Is there a product that can be used or do I have to have it professionally stripped and waterproofed that way.  I am not interested in it as an antique, it belonged formerly to Lillian Russell and Diamond Jim Brady.  The emotional value is priceless all by itself.  

Thanks for your advice and consultation.

ANSWER: Karen,

Thanks for your email.

Have you owned the table; when it was refinished the 3 times?
Why did the table have to be refinished three times?
Have you had issues with water damages and is that why you are looking for a waterproof finish?
I am asking this; because I would like to know, what is the finish on your table and what were the previous finishes.

Depending on your finish on the table; would determine what steps you can take, if any - without refinishing the table.

When you have a momement; could you send an email and let me know a little of the history in the refinising of the table.

Joseph A. Eldredge
Conscientious Wood Care LLC

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

QUESTION: When my grandmother owned the table, she had it refinished in the traditional dark blackish stain (early 1900's).  She then gave it to my parents around 1946 and my mother kept it in the dark tone until 1972 when she had it done in an antique distressed green (the refinisher Harrell Hinton) was with Reikker furniture at the time).  In 2006, she had Mr. Hinton re-stain it to its present stain which is the light distressed pecan.  The first re-staining was due to damage by the auction company who sold the furniture from the Brady/Russell home.  The other two were whims of my mother.  For many years, the table was a side or decoration while with my mother.  For my grandmother and myself it is a dining table (breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert).  I like the finish, but I am concerned with it getting water marked.  My son is grown, but my granddaughter is 3 years old and when it comes to real wood, my daughter-in-law acts like a moronic idiot.  I just want to protect it.  I still have 5 of the six original chairs and just want to protect the table top.

Thank you.

ANSWER: Karen,
Thanks for all of the information about the table.
I am familiar; with both of names listed in your email.

You talked about restaining the table several times; but, you didn't mention the finish that used on top of the stains.
Do you know what finish is currently on the table top?

Also, is the table in good enough shape to put another finish on top of the existing finish?

Do you have any deeper water damages on the table; or any, deep blemishes that should be addressed before moving forward?

Have the additional leaves; been cared for, in the same manner as the top?

Again, thanks for for your time,

Joseph A. Eldredge
Conscientious Wood Care LLC

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

QUESTION: Hi Joseph.  I don't understand what you mean by "finish".  Currently you cannot set a wet glass on the table or it will be marked by water stain.  There are no damages to the table top or its' leaves and no blemishes.  Leaves have been equally protected as the table top.  The table is in immaculate shape and condition.



By the word finish I mean:

Shellac finish - used in the turn of the century
Varnish - early 1900
Lacquer - started in the 1930 - still using
Polyurathane finish - used the last 40 years- still using
Water Borne finishe - used in the last 3o years - still using

Do you know if any of these were used on your latest refinishing method?

These would be used after the wood is stained.


Joseph A. Eldredge
Conscientious Wood Care

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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.

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