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Woodworking/Refinish top of desk


Hello Greg

I bought the desk in the attached photo about 32 years ago.  If I remember correctly the wood is teak, but if I'm wrong maybe you can correct me by looking at the photo.

Note how the finish on the desk surface is wearing compared to the vertical side which still looks good.

I would like to take the necessary steps to restore the surface to the same look as the side wood.  Can you please give me advice?



Hey Pete, it's likely an oil finish and Watco Danish oil can be found at WoodCraft, Home Depot and many other locations. I would clean the top with some 000 steel wool and mineral spirits, and see if the wet surface looks even, in color and renewed...if there are no blotchy areas or areas of discoloration, then it's as easy as applying a few coats of the Watco.You cold also lightly sand with some 220-320 paper to 'open' the wood a little to increase absorption... It's also available in colors, and the light/med. Walnut is usually a good color for Teak, but yours looks rather light, so the natural may suffice...some experimentation will be warranted. Apply the Watco liberally with a brush, let it sit about 10 minutes and then wipe it off well with the grain, and let it dry overnight....these are penetrating finishes that do not dry as a film on top of the wood and therefore never chip, flake, or peel.If the finish is blotchy or discolored, or otherwise unacceptable when wet with the mineral spirits, then you'll have to strip the top with some varnish remover and lightly sand when dry before application.3-4 thin applications with thorough drying time between each coat (24hrs), and after the final coat should give you back the satiny,nice looking durable finish again, but matchibng the rest of the desk's color can be a bit of a challenge for the back if need be, I'll be here- 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,usage,etc.


Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. 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, and offered instruction on use and care as well.I even have some Trade show Demo experience.

none at this time.

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"),Multiple times in Family Handyman Magazine, local newspapers as well.

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 by Major tool manufacturers, Delta, Powermatic, Performax, Porter Cable, Skil/Bosch to name a few.

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.)
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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