I built some drop-leaf, cherry end tables about 15 yrs ago and finished them
in a satin poly. Moving, kids and grandkids later they are beginning to
look a bit nicked. I expect that I'll have to remove the tops to strip them
but will they again accept the Pratt-Lambert stain to the same degree as the
originally stained legs? Any cautionary notes??
The sanded cherry will be 15 years behind the legs in darkening, after you
sand the poly off enough to get the stain to take.
At least for a while, the parts ARE going to differ in color. No matter
how well you match colors today, they will change.
It's part of cherry's charm.
I think that is is very difficult/impossible to match
stains like this. Instead, why not just clean the surface
with some 0000 steel wool/mineral spirits, then run
some stain over the major dings.
Finish with a couple of coats of wipe-on poly.
I did this to our 20 yr old kitchen cabinets (oak tho)
last year, and they look better than new.
Since you have apparently made the decision to strip the current finish,
why don't you take a shot at doing a burn-in repair? Shellac sticks require
skill and technique. If you hit it, you won't have to strip the table. If
you mess it up, you were going to strip the table anyway.
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