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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
http://i1349.photobucket.com/albums/p752/d5moody1/securedownload_zps2d1c1722.jpeg
Hope everyone is well! So I've been asked to refinish this top. But they only want the worn area of the desk re-stained and then the entire top poly'd.

If it were up to me, i'd strip the entire top and then do it that way. Unfortunately, this is what they want. So any advice would be much appreciated. I could sand down the worn area, stain it with something close to original, and then poly the whole top….. Or i could scuff the whole top and use some polyshades to blend in the edges to the old stain….. (not a fan of poly shades but I may have to go this route??) I have a feeling this is going to end poorly. Any advice would really be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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say no

refuse to let others try to get you to do something you know is not correct, or is not your preferred method.

I have been working in the industry for 25 years, and learned long ago that sometimes the best work is work which you decline to accept.
 

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strip it , and dont ask for permission, forgiveness is much easier. Other wise your title will 100% correct.

When asked to repair or refinish something, I have never been too keen on the client telling me how to do it ,If they insist , I insist they do it them selves and walk away:thumbsup:
 

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I'm assuming they don't want you to strip it all due to price? I would tell them that it is going to take longer to match the stain then just stripping the whole top and starting over.
 

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Yes it is going to go poorly if you can't convince your customer to do the job right. You could touch up the table top but you would never color it in to where it wouldn't show and be sure they know it in advance. If you are going to touch it up I wouldn't waste time sanding on it, I would just apply stain and start finishing it.
 

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Rick Mosher
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One good argument would be to tell them it was finished improperly the first time and must be stripped to make it right. From that picture I would say that the color was applied over sealer as a toner and that is why the color is wearing off like that. You can also see a scratch on the end that is natural colored as well. I never like applying all of the color over finish for just this reason, if the stain was applied to the raw wood the spot would still have some color.

I believe it will take you longer to touch up than it would to strip and refinish, it won't look as good and the finish will continue to wear off with them blaming you because you were supposed to "fix" it. :no:
 

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Woodworking Wanderer
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+1 for don't do it, I've almost always regretted letting somebody with less experience dictate methods...

I'd decline, but offer to fix it later. They'll believe you next time.
 

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strip it , and dont ask for permission, forgiveness is much easier. Other wise your title will 100% correct.

When asked to repair or refinish something, I have never been too keen on the client telling me how to do it ,If they insist , I insist they do it them selves and walk away:thumbsup:
Do not strip it without permission. That would be wrong, morally and ethically. Even if you do not charge for the extra work.

If you do not want/cannot do what they what they want then do not accept the job. Hopefully, when you explain to them why it is wrong to do what they ask, they will change their mind and let you do a good job.

George
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I get where you guys are coming from in terms of passing on the job, or explaining to the customer that the only way to ensure the job will turn out to my standards would be to strip the whole top. Trust me, I'd normally pass on a job like this, there's much faster easier money to be made lol.

two things - If I were to do the entire top…. it's laminate which means I'd need to use a stripper first, then light sand so I don't blow through to the hdf. They already shot down the idea of a smelly stripper in the bank. (insert joke here)

2nd - These 4 desks are in a M&T Bank….. The construction company that asked me to do this is under the gun and only has so many hours in the bank to get the (4) desks back in shape. (in other words they are trying to save a buck by paying one of their guys for minimal hours to babysit us while we refinish the desks off hours*), which rarely ever happens with shortcuts of this nature)

also, this construction company accounts for about 60% of our annual revenue so here is one of those cases that I will give it a try to do what the bank, and the construction company is asking that I try and do.

I think in the end, I was just hoping for the what your first attempt would be to make this thing look good barring stripping the entire top. I appreciate the posts above! I think I'll try sanding just the bad spots on each desk, stain, and then add a little of the new stain to the poly before I coat out the entire top. It's worth a shot. Maybe a gel stain??
 

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I would do the job too. I would just make sure they know what outcome to expect from not doing the job right. After all "The customer is always right" even when they are dead wrong.
 

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We have similar, maybe even exactly the same, furniture where I work. The finish looks very thin; possibly why it got that wear spot to begin with. I would think you could sand the finish off of the entire top with very little time and effort. I think if you're able to sand off the lion share of the finish and put some toner in your topcoat, it'll look a whole lot better than trying to stain match that one spot and topcoating the whole thing. You're going to have to sand the whole top to give the topcoat something to grab onto anyway, maybe you can just sand a little longer and end up with a better result.
 
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