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.
Refinish drop leaf dining room table and six chairs
Wood samples to determine type of wood or veneerTake 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 decisionSome 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 valueThere 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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