100+ yr old table w/faded stenciled artwork


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Old 05-08-06, 02:04 PM
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100+ yr old table w/faded stenciled artwork

Table looks like it has been in garage (recently purchased very old house) for 100 yrs. Covered with dirt, old spider webs, etc. Cleaned off all dirt carefully to expose beautiful painted or stenciled artwork.. some is worn off from use long ago.

I want to refinish the table but also want to preserve what is left of the artwork. The wood is extremely dry from no care in .. years. The surface of the table top is not smooth because of the years of sitting. What is the best way to bring out the old wood, smooth it down without having to sand off the artwork?
 
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Old 05-15-06, 10:35 AM
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Hi - welcome to the forums! apparently, from the lack of responses you've received, you've stumped everyone!!

are you wanting to strip & restain the whole thing except for the artwork area (which is just on the top?)? i can't imagine that that would look good. i think for it to look good, you need to do the same thing (whatever that may be) equally to all parts of the table, so sanding & stripping are out. can you just use a furniture restorer product or Murphy's oil soap or tung oil or something all over it, to just clean it & add back some moisture? or maybe polyurethane (not the glossy kind) the whole thing?
 
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Old 05-15-06, 04:46 PM
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In general, refinishing an old table will destroy any value it may have. You might try cleaning a spot with mineral spirits and see how it works. Mineral spirits will not damage the finish and leaves no residue when it evaporates. You can wipe down the table with cloths dampened with mineral spirits to clean the table, if the test above works. Adding a finish may have unintended results, depending upon the material from which the airtwork is made and any existing finish on the table.
 
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Old 05-19-06, 12:37 PM
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Thank you

Thank you for replying.

I brushed off all the dirt I could then scrubbed the surface with soap and water to see exactly what I was dealing with. Apparently someone had used the table in the garage as a work table and in the center is spilled white paint and paint can rings. Since all the wood trim in the house looks like white enamel (another restore project in the future) I am sure that is what is on the table. so will need to carefully strip that off.

the wood appears very dry and unsure of a finish or stain. It looks like bare wood. There are raised crusty spots that are black, like a scab. Some are over the artwork. I am not very good at identifying types of wood, all I know is the grain is beautiful and the table is extremely heavy.

I will try the mineral spirits. If anyone has any other ideas it would be greatly appreciated. For now I will do what I can to clean up one bad spot at a time. Without a picture it is hard to describe, but the artwork in each corner is framed by a groove, so was thinking of trying to cleanup/fix the rest of the surface and leave the "framed art areas" for last.... waiting on some creative ideas here

Thank you again!

Mitts
 
 

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