What kind of finish would you use in this situation?

Hello all,
I recently purchased a solid cherry media cabinet off craigslist. It's in great shape but the finish seems a little dull. The wood appears "dry" and does not have the glow and luster of other cherry furniture I own. I have no idea what they used for the original l finish was but I was wondering if anyone might have a suggestion for a finish (no glossier than satin) that I might be able to safely apply over a preexisting-but-unknown finish.
Thanks!
Kevin
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Paste wax
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: Hello all,
: I recently purchased a solid cherry media cabinet off craigslist. : It's in great shape but the finish seems a little dull. The wood : appears "dry" and does not have the glow and luster of other cherry : furniture I own. I have no idea what they used for the original l : finish was but I was wondering if anyone might have a suggestion for a : finish (no glossier than satin) that I might be able to safely apply : over a preexisting-but-unknown finish.
: Thanks!
If you want an actual finish, try shellac. The downside is it's inherently glossy, but that can be knocked down with steel wool.
Or try paste wax, and buff it to a medium shine. You can also combine them -- shellac, with a topcoat of wax.
    -- Andy Barss
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On Thu, 4 Sep 2008 19:04:49 -0700 (PDT), Kevin

If you don't want all the refinishing work, try Briwax. It will clean, hide scratches, and produce a low sheen in one step. It comes in several colors, including clear. Another choice is Johnsons Paste Wax.
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Phisherman wrote:

Briwax has to be practiced on an unseen area and applied lightly, though.
Briwax contains toulene, which will mess up some finishes if applied heavily and not quickly buffed. It's good stuff, but far less forgiving if used incorrectly.
Test it where you can't see it.
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Thanks all, I'll pick up some Briwax and give it a test try. I've not used this product before, any tips or tricks? Or is it foolproof?
Kevin
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Kevin wrote:

Briwax is NOT foolproof, I mentioned why in my previous post. Test it in a hidden, but fully finished, area of the piece.
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I just checked out the Briwax website. Very informative with lots of tips. I'll give it a try today.
Kevin
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This may be useful info only for novices like me, but the Briwax worked very well. As mentioned earlier, Briwax contains toluene, so try on a hidden test area. Also, if you apply with a cotton cloth, it will be much gentler on the preexisting finish than if you apply with 0000 steel wool. So, here's how I did it (thanks to the info on the Briwax website):
1. Apply wax with 100% cotton cloth (e.g. t-shirt).
2. You will probably apply too much wax (if you are a novice like me), so, after the wax dries (minutes), buff very gently with 0000 steel wool until the finish starts to shine and the steel wool no longer drags across the finish. The purpose of this step is to remove excess wax.
3. Buff with 100% cotton cloth.
4. If after step 3 there are streaks/smears in the finish, buff lightly with 0000 steel wool to remove a little more wax, then buff again with cotton cloth.
This process worked very well for me and I am now a great fan of Briwax. Thanks to all for your help!
Kevin
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