On Mon, 21 Jun 2010 06:29:30 +0100, Me Here wrote:
I would NOT use a belt sander, they are far far too aggressive for
veneer, even with the finest belt. They are not a tool for a beginner,
IMO. You would get better results from a Random-Orbit sander and 240 or
320 grit. Take your time, watch carefully for the veneer being worn
through, especially at the corners.
I would then use an acrylic varnish (water based) or if it's a high wear
site (bedside tables are terribly open to cups of hot tea) a hard-glaze
polyurethane. If it's in a wet area, or drinks get put on it (i.e. a bar
top), you might find a formaldehyde resin is good, see Andy Dingley's
post on varnishes in another thread.
There is also the problem of matching the newly sanded top to the uv-
darkened carcase. You may need to use a stain before varnishing, and
experiment on a bit of wood that isn't visible to get the right density/
"Discovering and Restoring Antique Furniture"
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)>
By far the best furniture restoration book I've seen.
As to the rest of it, then SLOW DOWN! Most DIY workers do a lot of
damage when "restoring" furniture. Many also work too hard at it, and
do simply more work than an experienced restorer would bother with.
Second point, anything involving "varnish" is probably a Very Bad
It's too big a topic to even begin with a detailed answer.
FWIW, here's what I did to the first (plywood desk):
Try wire wool and white spirit, discover that white spirit wasn't shifting
anything that abrasion didn't. I came to the conclusion the surface was
Try wire wool on its own. It got off the very worn varnish, but was fairly
hard work on the stuff towards the back that was thicker.
Eventually gave up and got out the sander. Wire wooled the bits that were
heavily stained/worn so as to get all the edges of varnish off, and power
sanded through the thick areas. A few hours later I had all the surface
clean of varnish.
Cleaned surface with a clean rag and white spirit, left to dry
Wiped with a rag with 4 coats of Liberon's Finishing Oil, roughly one per
It looks really great - apart from a few deep scratches and two huge water
stains which are now just about visible if you stare at them, all the stains
have gone. It's also not sticky.
I haven't tried eating my dinner off it, but it claims to be water and heat
resistant. Just needs a re-wipe with oil once a year.
So thanks for all the advice... I didn't exactly follow all of it, but I
ended up with a nice result in the end :-)
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