Refinish Furniture

Drop leaf dining table and six chairs.

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Jan requested information about refinishing dining room furniture which consisted of a drop leaf table with two removable leaves and six chairs. The table has some marks on the top which are a slight concern, but can be lived with.

It's best to leave use marks on furniture that is antique or collectible to help show age and the description of Jan's table indicates that it could be a Duncan Phyfe dining room set, which could be very collectible and could have considerable value.


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Refinish drop leaf dining room table and six chairs

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janet wrote:
I wont to buy a dinning room table and six chairs the table top will need to be refinish. It is cherry. There are some deep marks on the table, I can live with this imperfection if I as a nonprofessional can refinish this myself.
Should I strip first or sand to help with the deep marks? They really wont bother me as long as the finish is ok. A little imperfection is ok. The table is a drop leaf with two added section I really LOVE this table. Thank you, Jan p.s how can i tell if the table is truly cherry? -- Reply --

Wood samples to determine type of wood or veneer

Take a look at our page wood samples and note the difference in grain patterns of the different woods. The samples shown are raw wood so colors can vary with staining. The table style you describe sounds like it might be Duncan Phyfe, which would be veneered. No matter the style the tops of most really good tables are veneered, which may make the appearance a little different than the wood samples. If you'd like to know more about veneer you can see our page veneer explanation

Not sanding is a good decision

Some of the marks in the top may just be in the finish and they'll disappear when the old finish is stripped off. Since you call yourself a nonprofessional I would stay away from sanding, since you wouldn't mind the imperfections.

It's easy to sand through veneer and sanding will lower antique value

There are a couple of reasons to not sand, first, the veneer is a very thin slice of wood and it's real easy to sand through it trying to get an imperfection out. Next, if the table is an antique it will need it's little oweys and imperfections to show that it's been around a while. If an antique is sanded it loses it's character and means to tell it's an old timer and the antique value lowers considerably. Since you like the table so much go ahead and get it. I'd be willing to bet you can do an excellent job of refinishing it.
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