02-29-2012 12:10 PM
My neighbor has asked my advice about repairing the finish on a Stickley night stand because “Jay knows everything about wood”. I’m flattered but far from an expert, particularly when it comes to refinishing.
It’s a nice piece, made of cherry, and only the top needs work. There are two bad water stains, one from a drink glass and a larger one, probably the result of moisture under an appliance.
The neighbor has already tried the Formby’s route (twice) and says it improved the appearance somewhat but not nearly enough. There is very little, if any topcoat left.
As far as I can see, sanding down to bare wood and finishing from scratch is the option left but the reason for this post is to see if any of you with a lot of experience in this area can suggest a less drastic
02-29-2012 01:20 PM
Formby's has a number of products, but I assume from the results he has used the Conditioning Furniture Refinisher or Paint & Poly remover. Both of these are stripper products, that is why "most of the finish is gone"
It's hard to say what the stain(s) are from, but I would start with a light sanding. If that fails, I'd probably go with an A-B wood bleach. Either method is going to remove some of the accumulated patina of cherry wood, so it's going to be lighter for a while until the suntan catches up.
02-29-2012 04:03 PM
Be careful of bringing the top to curent color.
Once the top matures again, it will darken again, and it might be, then, too dark from the rest of the table.
Is top removable?
02-29-2012 09:41 PM
I'm thinking here....
I would remove the top and strip it, not sanding.
Hardly any loss of patina and it may come out just as good.
If any sanding done it would be a very light one by hand, after striping and washing down the residue.
03-01-2012 07:45 AM
By the way, this is a Stickley night stand only in the sense that it was made by the L.G. & A Stickley Co., but it isn't of the Craftsman style that Sticckley set fashions with their (and more importantly, Gustav's) earlier products. It's a "traditional" style from a respectable factory.
03-04-2012 10:28 AM
I too, would recommend removing the top and using a chemical paint stripper containing methylene chloride. Follow the directions on the label. A chemical paint stripper will not remove much or any of the patina.
To remove water stains, the bleach to use is oxalic acid. Any good paint store should have it. Oxalic acid is the bleach to remove water and mineral stains. You may have to apply multiple times.
Do not use a two part A/B bleach. That bleach is used to remove the natural color of the wood. That's not what you should want to do.
Once you have the stains removed or greatly reduced. sand very lightly (or you will remove the patina), vacuum off the dust and apply a coat of oil based non-poly varnish. Let it dry and flat sand the surface with 320 paper mounted on a felt or rubber surfaced sanding pad. Then apply a couple of more coats of varnish. My recommendation for varnish is to use Waterlox Original. It looks particularly nice on dark colored woods and is one of the most water and water vapor resistant finishes.