? What products to use to refinish antique table?

Hi everyone,
I would like to ask for advice on refinishing an antique kitchen table.
My new wife loves antiques, and the beautiful character that comes with age. I really don't want to screw up her table.
This table is in excellent physical shape, and simply needs a refinish. It appears to be mahogany, and now has some water ring stains, and some heat stains on the surface. The stain is very worn, but the wood is not scratched or dinted too much.
What products would look good on an antique and still protect the table from water and heat stains?
I bought a bottle of Howard Restore-A-Finish mahogany and Varathane Interior satin at Home Depot. Will these work well together? Once home I noticed the stain said not to apply polyurethane on top of it, because it will not harden properly. Isn't polyurethane a two part epoxy product?
I am confused.
Thanks for any helpful comments.
Robert
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I'm not sure what you consider an antique - If it really is an antique I would have it appraised BEFORE you do anything to the finish. Do you ever watch Antique Roadshow? I remember one case where these folks came across a really old table or somesuch and stripped it and refinished it. Value BEFORE refinishing $40,000! Value after refinishing $6000. Patina is everthing in antiques I guess.
Erik

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No,
I do not believe it is a rare and valuable antique, just old (probably 50 years), and very good quality table. If we continue to use it daily with out improving the surface we are going to ruin it. This is just the kind of table you might find in any common antique store. Our interest is to use it daily and enjoy its beauty and warmth.
Robert

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You might find something at www.homesteadfinishing.com Repair & Restoration forum, or a forum name similar.
wrote:

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wrote:

"antique table" is a term so vague as to be useless here.
Before you do _anything_, you _must_ sort out three things.
- How old is this thing ? (to the half-century)
- How valuable is this thing (tens, hundreds, thousands)
- What was it originally finished with ?
Then leave it alone anyway. If you're buying products called "Restore-a-finish" or anything with poly anywhere near it, then you need to learn a little more before you go near it.
Read Flexner's intro guide to finishing. <(Amazon.com product link shortened)> This won't make you an expert, but it'll tell you what's out there as a finishing technology.
Then try to find what the original finish was, and restore the piece with similar techniques. It may not even _need_ refinishing, just repair or hiding of the damage.
Don't apply a new technique to an old piece, until you've already used that technique on a sample piece of similar timber first.
Poly has _no_ place near quality furniture. Most of the things you will need don't come from retail "house-fixup" sheds either.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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until you know more don't do anything that may be harmful. you can protect it for now buy putting some wax on it. not automotive wax but something like johnsons paste floor wax. it will offer some protection and can be easily removed at a later date with no harmful effects. it contains no silicone.
Bob Klein Robert's Antiques Restoration Pensacola, Fl

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