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I have to admit I’m a purist when it comes to true antiques. I don’t like to sand them down for a flaw-free finish and I sure as heck wouldn’t paint something this old unless it was already damaged.
I like the patina of old wood — which only comes with age and years of use.
I also like the story that comes with the patina.
The wear and tear.
The dents, dings, and scratches.
All of those things tell a story.
Sometimes it’s obvious that something was a treasured piece. That maybe it sat in a formal room and was for show and not for true use. You can tell other pieces were the work horses in the house and those pieces of furniture had daily use which generally took a beating over time.
Last year we bought “new” furniture for the dining room.
A piece here.
A piece there.
These were random and spontaneous purchases. When we came across something that spoke to us, then we bought it. Ironically when all was said and done, four out of five pieces were from the late 1800’s.
And all had a story or two tell.
I imagine my lamp tables were treasured pieces. They’re actually in really good shape for their age. The tops are faded and dried out except for where the lamps sat, but otherwise the wood and construction is still pristine.
I wanted to keep the original finish so I chose to use Howard’s Restor-A-Finish. This product will hide scratches, sun fade, water marks, and a whole slew of other things.
It comes in many different colors. You should choose the color which closely matches your existing finish. If you would like a darker look, then choose a shade or two darker than your existing finish.
I had Dark Walnut on hand and so that’s what I used. By the way, I knew it wouldn’t hide the darker circles in the middle of the tables, but since I have champagne buckets sitting on them I wasn’t worried about the color difference.
I generously poured Restor-A-Finish on a cloth, applied it to the table tops, and then waited several minutes before wiping it off.
This is what it looked like immediately after wiping off the excess Restor-A-Finish.
Here’s what it looked like after 30 minutes.
I was happy with how it looked (and I wanted to be done :-)) so I moved onto the Howard’s Feed-N-Wax.
I generously applied Feed-N-Wax to all areas of the tables and left it on for 20-30 minutes. I also applied it to croquet mallets.
Can you see the difference? The wood is now darker, richer, and shinier!
And here are the after pictures of the tables. Check out the luster. And the richness of color. And the shine!
And with it’s champagne bucket in place…
I used these same steps on the lamp tables in February 2015 and for the rest of the year I just lightly dusted them like I would any other piece of furniture. The Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax held up well for about 10 months or so. I probably should have used Feed-N-Wax on them every few months, but I didn’t.
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Linking with Friday’s Furniture Fix