If it truly is "gorgeous" and has any age, the heavy sanding will have
reduced its value, possibly by half.
The nicks, dings and surface below the paint are part of the patina that is
However, continued local application of paint stripper, allowing the "gunk"
or whatever you use, to soak in, followed by a careful probe into the grain
with a fine needle, followed by a rinse with white spirit and a rub with
fine wire wool is the best treatment. Any that resists all of your efforts
should be left as honourable scars and a reminder on the history of the
Refinishing is a matter of taste. A stain (at least one shade lighter than
you hope to end up) followed by an application of a good hard-wax furniture
polish with loads of elbow grease should leave the grain visible and an
overall pleasant appearance. Since you are down to bare wood, I suggest
several applications applied with fine wire wool rather than a cloth. That
should be sufficient to fill the grain.
Oxalic acid (poisonous - handle with care in a ventilated space and use
gloves) is good for removing stains (it does bleach the wood). It is pretty
powerful and dries to a white powder - to stop the action, wash off with
There are lots of books on antiques restoration - and advice on the
Sadly I feel you may just end up with a "new" piece, albeit made from
Stay up to date in The Deepings, visit
Click to see the full signature.