Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Rosewood surface


Have a 1980's scandanavian dining rosewood (Indian vs. brazilian?) that has three issues.   
1.  Has not been oiled in years resulting in some raised grain in the veneer table top.  Oil to use?  Suggestion?
2.  Has a small 6" white (light) spot in surface from moisture or heat, not sure.  Treatment suggestions?
3.  Has been in an arrid (Arizona) climate for 12 years with smoker residents.   Treatment suugestions for removing smoke smell and residual nicotine?

By the way, i previously owned this beatiful set and am hopeful that  refinishing is only a second option.

Thank you in advance for your time amd consideration.

Hi Jerry, sorry for the delayed reply, I have just finished relocating over a 1,000 miles away. These pieces were usually finished with an oil finish, ( if it's Scandanavian it may be Teak, not Rosewood...), and the best thing to use , that is readily available, is probably the Watco Danish oil finish. This product can also be used to restore the finish. I like the Medium Brown Walnut, or Dark Walnut color on Teak/ Rosewood furniture, or if the reddish tone is desirable,a little Red Mahogany or Cherry can be intermixed, and it can be used to clean, and rejuvenate the finish.Please read and follow all the directions and precautions on the product, especially the spontaneous combustion warnings.The oil finish can be wet sanded into the surface to smooth, clean, and renew the look, using some 400-600 wet dry sand paper. I pour it into a resealable container, like a margarine tub, or Chinese food soup container, after thoroughly shaking it , and dip the sandpaper right into it, perhaps even spilling it onto the surface you're working on, and sand in long strokes with the grain. Work in a manageable area at a time, and after sanding smooth, leave the surface wet for 10-15 minutes and wipe the excess finish off with the grain. On areas that are smooth to the touch and have no other damage, you can apply with some 0000, 000 or 00 steel wool,(some experimentation will be necessary), scrubbing the surface clean in long strokes with the grain,and finish with a clean rag. The  solvent in the oil finish will dissolve tobacco resin, dirt, and grime, old wax, etc...and leave the surface smooth and rejuvenated. Once you have covered the whole surface with these techniques, you can re-apply the Watco to the whole surface and evenly wipe it down again right away. If you find it getting sticky on you, simply apply more over the whole surface,and wipe right away. The key is to leave behind a VERY thin, even coat, after letting the oil penetrate, and then leave it to dry for at least 24 hours before applying another wet coat. The temptation is too leave a wet coat on the surface because it looks so good, but resist that, and wipe it off well. Successive coats will bring you to that end, without stickiness and drying issues. After thorough drying (at least 24hrs.),again flood the surface completely with a brush, paint pad, or similar, let sit for a few minutes and wipe off almost completely, leaving a very thin wet film.1-4 coats may be desired depending on what you experience as you go, and the level of color and protection desired. These finishes penetrate into the wood, and harden from within, so it's important not to over apply at each coat. A fan can be used on the piece after application to hasten the drying overnight...and you want to make sure that when you run your hand over it after drying, it feels dry...not tacky, sticky, etc. before you apply another coat. A little longer between coats can only help to not dissolve the previous application. And remember, while dry to the touch, these finishes continue curing for several weeks to become hard and durable. You'll have to evaluate after the first operation to see what has become of the defects in the finish...they might disappear...they might not. If they are made worse, or are not acceptable, then you'll have to think about chemically stripping the piece down to bare wood and start fresh, but I would not suggest this for a novice finisher. Most of these are veneered in any large panel areas, and extreme care must be taken when refinishing these surface. If it's Teak, they were masters of veneering, and you may not think that they are veneered, but 9.75 times out of 10 they are. This type of work shouldn't be undertaken if you are unfamiliar with the processes and techniques of working with finishes, it's typically not a job for the novice...but it is  not "rocket surgery" and can be accomplished with the right guidance and understanding...hope that helps a little...please feel free to post back.
Regards, Greg

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Greg Scholl


Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects, Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings, wood species recognition and usage,tool recommendations, blade types and recommendation,techniques and methods for many Woodworking related issues, etc.


Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.) Sold, built, serviced, setup Home, Industrial, and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools , provided knowledge, parts replacement, service, and on site service, Trade show Demo, and training as well.

Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002) ...("27 year compilation of expert know-how")

Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars from major Tool manufacturers, Skil/Bosch, Delta, Powermatic, Ritter, Porter cable, Milwaukee, Dewalt/B&Decker, Performax.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT. (the Antiques capital of CT.), Golden Age of Trucking Museum,Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies. For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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