Here’s how to refinish timber furniture and bring out the beauty of the wood.
I found this cute little '60s table with a veneered star inlay. It needed some help to get back to its original condition, but it cleaned up real nice.
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Assess the finish. How bad is it, really? If it’s just a bit dinged, you can get by with a coat of furniture polish, but if it needs to be fully stripped back and restored, you’ve got some work ahead of you. The finish on the legs of this table was okay, but the lacquered top was in bad shape.
Strip the existing finish. Use paint stripper on an old lacquer finish; even with a power sander, it quickly gums up the paper and it takes a long time to actually chew through the stuff. Put on gloves, apply a thick layer of paint stripper to the timber, let it sit for the time recommended on the can, and then scrape it off onto the newspaper. It may take two coats to get all the lacquer.