Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mahogany Table Before and After

By Gretchen Sawatzki

When this dingy table arrived in our shop, we knew we had a bit of a challenge on our hands, but this diamond in the rough was no match for our refinisher.  Made of mahogany and mahogany veneer, this oval-shaped table with carved legs required a technical hand and methodical approach to bring it back to life.

Mahogany table before refinishing.
Image by Charles Wiesner

First the table was stripped of its old finish using a mild stripper. Our refinisher used a soft wire brush to get into the deep carvings on the legs, and paid careful attention to the mahogany veneer edges on the table's surface. When stripping a veneered surface it's important not get stripper underneath the edges of the veneer as the stripper can cause the veneer to lift away and bubble.  In this instance our refinisher used blue painter's tape to secure the veneer edges before stripping.

Table is prepared for stripping.
Image by Charles Wiesner
Once the finish was carefully removed, the table sat to dry before the surface was lightly sanded using a fine grit steel wool. The surface was sanded in the direction of the wood grain to prevent stray scratches and an uneven surface.

Table after refinishing.
Image by Charles Wiesner
After sanding, the stain was applied in three coats with plenty of time for the stain to dry in between each application. The legs were stained using a rag and small brushes, as needed, to get into all of the detailed carvings. The legs also required sanding in between applications to ensure even and consistent stain application.

Carved legs after refinishing.
Image by Charles Wiesner
Refinishing a table with veneer and intricate carvings can be tricky. For the more advanced DIY refinisher, it may be a fun and welcomed challenge, but for some this project may be more than they bargain for. If that's the case, leave it to the experts at Materials Unlimited where our staff of refinishers and restoration specialists can turn your dingy old table into a refreshing work of art.

For information on restoration services visit our website.

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