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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I bought this dining set with the hope that I could revive it. Then I quickly realized that I don't have a clue what to do. I NEED YOUR ADVICE!!!

First Question: What to do with the wood finish.
A friend of mine recommended using 0000 steel wool and mineral spirits to clean off the grime....well it did clean off the grime and MORE. In some spots the natural wood seems to be showing through (see photos) and the varnish/shellac/lacquer/? is patchy. On other areas - it's in fair shape.

So, what next? I was trying to maintain the original finish/color but it's looking patchy. Wax next? Stain? My friend recommended I put a rubbing varnish on and quickly wipe it off the areas that still have finish on them.

Second Question: What the #[email protected]! is this tabletop made of and how can I revive it? It's a little faded (could it be laminate or veneer?).

I know you guys and gals can help me out...thank you in advance. I really don't want to mess this up.
 

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The village amadán.
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Welcome to the forum!

That table top sure looks like a Formica veneer to me just by looking at that edge. If it is then you likely have MDF (a.k.a. particle board) underneath it and there isn't much you can do with it.

As for the chairs, I would recommend you strip them bare and start over. A citrus based stripper can do the job quite easily and without a lot of fuss. There are some stronger finish removers out there but require a lot more care in area prep and clean-up. Check them out at you local big box or hardware store. Check with the department personnel to see what experience any of them might have in that area.

Once stripped you can then finish sand and stain or just finish (if you like the look after removing the old finish) them with a polyurethane.
 

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Old School
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WELCOME TO THE FORUM

I agree with Mr Mac. It does look like a plastic laminate like Formica. It's likely laminated on either particle board or MDF. Your choices there are to remove the laminate, and lay on a new piece, or laminate on top of it. If you choose to do either of those things, we can advise on the best method.

As for the wood parts, stripping, sanding and refinishing would be the way to go.










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Discussion Starter #4
Another question

Thank you for your advice so far! I have another question...what is the easiest way for a beginner to sand tight corners and round/tapered legs?

As for the formica top...would paint be an option? I'd love a nice deep black to contrast against the wood legs but since it's a kitchen table I'm worried about the paint being scratched. What would you do?

Thank you again, Ann
 

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Old School
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Thank you for your advice so far! I have another question...what is the easiest way for a beginner to sand tight corners and round/tapered legs?
You could scrape those areas with a small bench chisel (bevel up on a pull stroke). Sandpaper folded into small sections.

As for the formica top...would paint be an option? I'd love a nice deep black to contrast against the wood legs but since it's a kitchen table I'm worried about the paint being scratched. What would you do?

Thank you again, Ann
Paint would have a questionable life. I would scuff sand the existing laminate and just pick out a black laminate and reface the top.










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Discussion Starter #6
My progress day 1

I applied 2 coats of Citristrip and this is what I found underneath...what should I do next? There seems to be a stain of some sort that the stripper isn't taking off.

Any recommendations? I don't mind the color but I'm still thinking of staining it...what would you do?
 

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the stain on the ends are not gonna come out i would do cab-mans idea and relaminate the surface and make a new band for around the edges.
 
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