1930's Furniture

Old 07-03-01, 10:16 PM
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I inherited my grandparent's 1930's bedroom furniture. There are water marks,scratches and what looks like fading on the pieces and overall they look kind of beat up. I don't know what the style is and what kind of wood it's made of, but I want to know what kind of cleaner I should use or if I should have everything refinished. I don't want to refinish because of the cost and also I don't really want to change it, just clean it up so that it looks better.
Old 07-04-01, 07:23 AM
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The first step in refinishing a piece (in my shop) is to clean it thoroughly in order to see exactly what I'm dealing with. I use VM&P Naphtha, available from better paint stores and most home centers.

This is a highly flammable petroleum distillate (similar to but stronger than paint thinner) and should be used with care, but it cuts grease, dirt, oil, wax, etc. off the furniture without harming any finish.

Once you've cleaned the piece, wipe it down again with the naphtha. This will let you see any existing defects. Then you can decide what you want to do. It's entirely possible to put a new finish over the old without resorting to stripping.

When you get to that point, come on back and we'll discuss your options and methodology involved.

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