Antique Hand Carved Solid Cherry Table

Old 11-28-03, 08:10 PM
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Antique Hand Carved Solid Cherry Table

Hello All,
I have just recently been given an Antique Hand Carved Solid Cherry Table. And I have spent the last two weeks removing the four layers (The bottom coat was a dark red, then a dark colonial blue, then the "problem" dark green and the top coat was an Ivory) of paint that were disgustingly layered upon this treasure. I have several issues that I do not know how to proceed with.... So the following are my post Zip-Stripping issues...

1. The table top still has a green tint in the dark cherry grain even though that color of paint was the third color to be painted upon this treasure. How can I remove this remaining color without having to sand at least an 1/8 -1/4" off of the table top....?

2. The spindle legs have brass claw & ball feet attached and the lower shelf of this table is attached by antique scrolled brass brackets. I have removed four layers of paint and they now look a little rusty. I can see the brass showing through on some of the areas that I had to use elbow grease to remove the paint. One of the antique scrolled brass brackets is broken and I have both pieces and wonder if I should/could have it welded...? or I should use an epoxy welding compound like J.B. Weld to repair it...? What should I clean and then polish the claw feet and the scrolled brackets with...?
3. There are hand carved braces below the table top and the bottom shelf. I had to use water to remove a lot of the ZIP-Strip and the dark cherry color just popped when I was rinsing off the Zip-Strip. I hope this wood comes alive like this when I finish it.... Yet I don't feel that I would be doing the piece justice to use polyeurethane...? I would like a suggestion as this is going to be a real show piece and I want to finish it with a period finish and do it its final justice...!

Please advise.... I so appreciate your time and assistance in a return reply...... : )
Old 11-28-03, 09:17 PM
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Location: Taylors, SC
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1. Time for more stripper and a scotchbrite pad or a brass or plastic stripping brush. Take some stripper and scrub with the grain to remove the remains of the color in the grain. the chemicals will do the work, you just manipulate and direct with the brush or pad. You may have to go a round or two after which you clean up and let dry to be sure you have removed it all. Removing paint can be somewhat tedious.

2. Brass feet. Since you have stripped the piece, repairing the broken foot by having it brazed would make sense. I would clean them, polish them, and spray them with a coat of lacquer to protect the finish. Remove the rest of the paint with stripper. Whatever brass polish you use will protect the shine for only a short while, hours, before it starts to tarnish, so be ready to spray when you finish polishing.

3. Water or other final stage cleaning per the instructions on the stripper will make the wood look nice once all the finish and stripper are off, neutralized, and the surface clean and dry.

For authenticity, lacquer would be appropriate to me. Deft makes a good brushing lacquer. Lacquer takes many coats to build sufficiently, but it dries in a short time. You can apply several coats per day. Sanding between coats. You might read up on french polishing, a technique for finishing up lacquer on furniture.

Bob Flexner has written several excellent books on finishing and refinishing furniture. This period piece may justify the investment in a good book to build your knowledge and technique as you restore this piece. You can Google several sources for his books.

Hope this helps.
Old 12-08-03, 01:48 PM
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I agree with Chris....But I have a question....Is this the original finish?Or....did some one strip the original finish off and paint it?
If this is the indeed the original finish,you have to ask your self this question....Would you pick choice cherry wood,if you were going to paint it?....AS far as removing the remainding color in the don't want to go crazy with excess sanding,especially powersanding....some times I resort to consealing the color instead.....After you remove as much color as possible,I would use oil stain.Do not shake the container.Open your container and go down to the bottom of the can to pull up this thick stain,and apply this to your painted areas.Blend it in with a cloth that has paint thinner on it.I personally...would stay away from power sanding.
Old 12-09-03, 03:09 AM
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Who ever you are .... the Furniture Dr. You have solved my problem.... I could not sleep so I got up @4:30 this a.m. and touched up the surface of the table top I have been "hand sanding" not Power sanding. I did as you suggested and added the stain from the bottom of the can..... the thick stuff. Low and behold it has changed the whole color scheme of the table top. I have waited for it to dry 1 1/2 hours and now I have added the same tongue oil that I have finished the legs and carved shelf braces with.... It looks absolutely beautiful ! : )
I just happened to have a stain left from a previous project that just matched the legs and the bottom shelf pieces.
The original finish had crackled many years ago and then someone painted the table a red, then a colonial blue, then a green that just seemed to permeate everything the instant the Zip-strip touched it and then the top coat was white.
So now my only dilemma is to find out how to weld or braise the cast iron that was once coated with a brass finish piece.
It attracts a magnet, so I know that it is not solid brass.... Can I just use a soldering iron and solder and melt it back together with the solder and gun....?
Please advise, because I can't wait to get this project completed and have the lights of the Christmas Tree sparkling off of the hand rubbed finish I am going to apply....?
4-robinsnest : )

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