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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/question about refinishing a table

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Question
I recently found a round top mahogany lyre style coffee table with 4 legs and little metal feet. I believe it's from the 40s. It's in pretty rough shape and I would like to sand and re-finish it. I want to keep the table, I'm just wondering if re-doing it will decrease the value, even though it looks like someone left it outside and I have to fix the feet. What would be my best option to re-do it? If you would like I can upload a photo.

Answer
Hi Sandra
Nice to hear from you.
You will not devalue this piece with a proper refinish.
But a proper refinish does not involve sanding the finish off.
There is a correct way. Its easy to do. Just dig in and don't be afraid.
And please get back if you have further questions
Regards
Eileen

Here is the instructions:
INSTRUCTIONS FOR STRIPPING FURNITURE
The first thing you must do is assemble the material to do the job.
The stripper is the most important item.  
I am hoping you can get "CIRCA 1850" brand paint and varnish remover in your area.
Here is a link
http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=1694&familyN

MATERIAL LIST For the stripping stage.
1 gallon stripper
3 boxes of Bull Dog steel wool in medium grade.
One 3 inch oil based paint brush.
Rubber gloves (like you do dishes with), and a pair of cotton gloves inside the rubber ones.
People react differently to stripper. A lot of people feel heat through the rubber gloves, but I feel cold. Have no idea why.
An empty large coffee can. (for the stripper)
A couple of old tooth brushes.
Lots of old rags (I like t-shirts or cotton but for this first stage whatever you have)
Lots of newspaper to protect the garage floor
LOTS OF VENTILATION..A MUST
That's all you need to get started.
HERES WHAT YOU DO...
Work in sections.
Brush on the stripper with the brush. Stripper will quit working if it dries, so keep it wet till the finish softens.
Then take a rag and wipe this mess off.
Then another coat of stripper, rag off again, then while the wood is still wet, take the steel wool and rub with the grain till the wood is nice and clean.
Depending on the material you are removing, another coat of stripper is often needed but you will know this as you progress into the job.
Use the toothbrush in crevices.
Thats all there is to it ...move to another section and continue.
No other prep is necessary...and DO NOT SAND
When the stripping is complete, stain with Minwax stain applied with a rag, then 3 or 4 coats of low lustre tung oil also applied with a rag.
Please let me know if anything is not 100% clear.  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Eileen Cronk

Expertise

I can answer most questions about the repairing and refinishing of all your old furniture items (the things we call antiques). I can also give you advice on what wood items to choose and what wood items to avoid at auctions, flea markets etc. I DO NOT give appraisals on antiques as this is not my field of expertise.

Experience

I have been repairing, refinishing and of course buying old furniture for the past 30 years. On any given weekend I can be found at auction sales or flea markets searching out a good buy. I have taken several courses in this area over the years, but I find "Hands On" learning to be the best teacher. I can help you avoid the pitfalls and problems of this wonderful rewarding craft.

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