Need to Strip and Refinish a Veneer Dining Table

Old 01-07-08, 01:47 PM
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Question Need to Strip and Refinish a Veneer Dining Table

Hi there
I've got a beautiful old maple veneered dining table. The finish is ruined, as someone wrote on the table with indelible marker. So, I need to to strip the finish off the veneer and then refinish. Please, can someone tell me the correct steps to taking old finish off veneer? I don't want to ruin this table!
Old 01-12-08, 04:37 AM
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Removing finish from a veneered article of furniture is like stripping any other wood piece except you don't leave the stripper on as long.

DO NOT USE STEELWOOL. This snags in the wood grain and will rust and cause black discolorations in the wood.

I'd use a semi paste remover available from you local hardware or paint store. The following steps discribe my process:

1. Working in a well ventilated area with a constant heat of around 70 degrees, spread several old towels on the floor around your table. Plastic is too slick and if remover get on it, it becomes like wet ice!
2. Apply an even coat of remover to the entire table top. Don't be conservative, apply a liberal amount. allow this to sit for about 5 minutes and apply another coat over the first coat of remover.
3. Using a putty knife, check by slightly scraping a small area on the top to see if the remover has dissolved the finish down to the wood. If the remover starts drying in spots, apply another coat. When the finish has dissolved to the wood, gently remove the "goop" using a wide putty knife, Simply put this "goop" in a paper box. After drying, it can go into your regular household trash for disposal.
4. While the surface is still damp, wash off the remover residue using denatured alcohol. This dissolves the remaining remover and will not raise the grain of the wood. Wipe off the residue with a large towel or rags.
5. If necessary, apply remover to any remaining spots of finish. When the table is clear of finish, once again wash over the entire top using denatured alcohol to remove any residue left behind.
Only a very light sanding with 220 grit garnet paper should be needed prior to your finish application.

Good luck!
Old 01-12-08, 07:01 AM
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I've been refinishing for about 30 years and CD has a good plan. The only changes I would make would be to use lacquer thinner instead of denatured alcohol. Either one will work, so let price be your guide.

Check the can directions for whatever stripper you're using - I generally find a little longer time (10-15 minutues) is better for a "sitting time" for the applied stripper. This will vary from mfg to mfg, so read the label.

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