Desk Restoration

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my mum swears by lord shearaton liquid gold for stripping old waxes and dirt whilst nourishing wood. that might be enough for you for the legs, the top is quite bare though.
danish oil contains polyurethane and is a compromise between an oiled finish (like linseed, tung) and a PU varnish (aka quick drying varnish, water based varnish). I think you will have some spirit based varnish on it already by the looks of it, this is incompatible with topping up with oil. it won't absorb unless you get back to bare wood.
 
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In my opinion and yes I am biased, this table is crying out to be french polished.

Take it right back to bare wood and then go through the following steps, there is absolutely no doubt that it will give you the best looking finish and well worth the effort.

Shellac Application

Any questions please come back to me

Ian McAslan
 
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Ahh, too much different advice! I'm more confused than I was before!! :eek:

Thanks all.
 
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When you sand this, be careful NOT to sand out the date and maker's name etc. : It's not often a piece of furniture has this sort of provenance, and it will be an antique very soon!

The top, which is actually a frame, is oak - it is plain to see the grain in the photograph which shows the shrinkage plate. When you stain it, use a cloth, not a brush - you will get a more even finish.

When you come to sand the drawer fronts, take the handles off first. Keep them carefully, and note which screws came out of which holes - they will go back in easier.

If I was doing this I wouldn't polish up the handles. There is a temptation to get the Brasso out, and they would shine like a shilling, but the whole thing might end up looking like a new desk.


Don't be confused. If you stick to the traditional, tried and tested methods, you can't go wrong.

French polishing is anexcellent finish, but not easy to get a good result unless you know what you are doing. It also damages easier. Stick to varnish, like Mr Chippendale!
 
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If it were me I'd simply get the white paint off it and leave it at that. If you go sanding and varnishing it, you'll take all its character away. Not only that, you can't replace the leather very easily so it'll look daft half old half new.

It's only worth £25 to £30 quid anyway so why spend time on it?
 
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Thank you both.

I will re read everything and come to a decision very soon!

joe-90, as for your valuation of £25 - £30, I cant argue. It may only be 'worth' that in terms of selling it on, but to me its worth more as it is going to be our dining table (albeit with a table cloth on top) so it is effectively 'worth' a bit more than a few quid to us - even if its only the amount we'll save not having to buy a new dining table of this quality.
 
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