restaining old furniture

Old 02-18-08, 07:37 AM
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Red face restaining old furniture

I have a wooden kitchen table set from the late 1940's. I believe, but am not certain, that the wood is maple. The original finish is mostly rubbed off but there are still some places that have some kind of yellow color and perhaps remnants of shellac. The legs of both chairs and table are flouted and seem devoid of any finish. I have thought of restaining or painting, but am leaning towards restaining. As a "newbie" I'm not sure what to do. Should the wood be washed with a special solution? Is sanding enough? What kinds of stain are best? I hope you can help. Thank you.
Old 02-18-08, 03:21 PM
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The only way to restain is to completely remove all the old finish and stain. Because there does not appear to be a finish doesn't mean there is none. From the 40's, it could be shellac but more likely lacquer, or varnish. Lacquer can be removed with lacquer thinner and/or a paint stripper. Varnish only with a paint stripper. Shellac can usually be removed with solvent(denatured) alcohol.

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