1930's/40's dining table with scratches

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Old 10-16-16, 01:28 PM
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1930's/40's dining table with scratches

I came into a beautiful Duncan Pfife table that's likely from the 1930's or 1940's. The problem is that there are some problem areas. For the most part it was just fine scratches and I was able to take care of that pretty easily. But then I was left with some deeper scratches, and none of the advice I've found has worked... which was to use scratch filler (I tried a couple of minwax products) or restain and fill the scratches with film finish. Dark paste wax also didn't work.
I think I'm going to have to remove the finish and redo unless I can find anything else to try. I tried a cotton ball with acetone on it and it did remove the finish, so I was looking at the Formby's/Minwax furniture restorer product.
Is there anything else less drastic to try? The table is actually not that bad. It's the three leaves that have the worst scratches, and I may not even wind up using the leaves, but I want to get everything spiffed up at the same time so that I don't have to worry about it later if I suddenly find myself planning a large gathering. Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 10-16-16, 02:29 PM
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Can you post a few pictures of the scratches (not close ups, please) so we can see what you see? The moderators may move this post to a more appropriate forum, too, so get ready.
 
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Old 10-16-16, 03:05 PM
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Moved to correct forum with re-direct. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 10-16-16, 03:45 PM
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First you need to decide how bad the scratches are and if it's worth fixing. A table is rarely void of things setting on it and many like my wife like to cover it up anyway.

Generally if a scratch won't buff out you need to sand and refinish to remove it. You have to be careful when sanding veneer so you don't sand thru it. Also any wax should be removed first! Poly will wear better than any of the finishes available when that table was new.
 
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Old 10-16-16, 04:42 PM
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Pictures

I am posting pictures of the table and one example of the scratches, of which there are several. As i mentioned, the table itsself isnt too bad but does have a few of these kinds of scratches but just smaller, less obviius ones, and the leaves bore the brunt of the wear and tear.
 
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Old 10-16-16, 04:45 PM
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Before you go too far with the commercial fixes, take a pecan meat and rub it on the scratch. The oils in the pecan will swell the wood and cause the adjacent finish to bleed over. You may not have to do much after that. BTW, nice piece. Remember it is old, and as we get older we get scars and wrinkles.
 
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Old 10-16-16, 05:10 PM
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I think we are going down the same road with this thread. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/fu...scratches.html
 
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Old 10-16-16, 06:22 PM
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This furniture could be valuable, but I'm sure you realize it's Duncan Phyfe style and not original.
I wouldn't strip the table or do anything to harm the original finish until I knew what the table was worth.
Is there anything else less drastic to try?
For a table of this quality, I would go drastic. Research lacquer sticks or burn in sticks for furniture repair. Basically you drip colored lacquer and polish it.
A professional (or you) can make a repair look almost invisible.
 
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Old 10-16-16, 06:43 PM
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I merged the two threads. Only one is needed and allowed.
 
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Old 10-16-16, 07:24 PM
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Thanks for merging the threads. I originally posted in the wrong forum.
Yes, i realize it is just the style and not original. It is nice so i dont want to do anything that might risk the finish however there are still some hazy scuffed areas too that i want to address, but maybe once the scratches are addressed i can just do paste wax over the whole top.
I actually already tried walnut meat and that helped on the smaller scratches, but these are just a bit deeper.
I will research the colored lacquer and burn in sticks.
 
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Old 10-17-16, 06:17 AM
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There is a specialty store not too far from me that carries burn in sticks and "fill sticks." Would one of these be better than the other, and what is the difference? It may be helpful to note that i already tried minwax blend fill pencil and wasnt impressed.
 
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Old 10-17-16, 02:44 PM
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A Fill Stick is crayon like, it works good in nail holes or deep gouges. It won't stay in a scratch.

A burn in stick requires a special tool to melt the lacquer and special paste to protect the surrounding finish.
I would compare it to patching a depression in drywall.
The scratch is filled with melted lacquer and then wiped smooth with a hot knife.

Keep in mind a table top will always show defects, but this method ensures the repair can't be wiped off and the color matches.

Stain pens almost always darken the scratch and make it look worse.
 
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Old 10-17-16, 03:34 PM
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I'm betting the fill stick is at least similar to what I already tried by minwax.
I have to say that I am a bit intimidated by what I read about burn-in sticks. I even read something by someone going into the trade and who took a class on how to work with the stuff saying that it was difficult and he was unable to achieve a good final result.
Hmm.
The main problem with these scratches is that they have a white appearance because of the break in the lacquer. Is there anything that can just mask that and address the color issue?
I've also read about Howard's restore-a-finish having good reviews but don't know what it can and can't accomplish. Thoughts on that?
 
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Old 10-17-16, 04:26 PM
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I am a bit intimidated by what I read about burn-in sticks
I don't blame you, I just through it out there.

Formby's is renowned for wood care and has scratch hiding oils, that should be good enough.
 
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Old 10-18-16, 09:45 AM
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I remembered I hadn't tried my Old English scratch cover, so I tried that this morning. It improved the look - of some of the scratches more than others - but didn't do quite enough on the worst of them.

What about this product: Mohawk Quick Fill Burn-In Stick - Red Brown Mahogany? I found it on Amazon and saw what looked like an ancient video tutorial somewhere, and it looked much easier than the typical burn-in stick applications. Anyone know anything about this product? And what would I do after it, if it's successful?

Also, what would be the best thing to do to address uneven/spotty sheen? Would paste wax be appropriate or do enough, or should I go for something else first? Should I determine if it's a lacquer finish and do another coat instead?

Lastly, I read elsewhere on this forum that silver polish works on white, hazy heat marks. I had some of those marks that I treated with a steam iron. The steam iron got out most of the heat marks but left behind traces of the procedure, so now I still need to do more for those areas. Thoughts on silver polish?
 

Last edited by alisonmadrey; 10-18-16 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 10-19-16, 12:15 PM
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Ok, an update. I happened on some silver polish while at the store today and gave it a try. Didn't work on the white, hazy marks the iron left. These are from the steam procedure used to eliminate the OTHER heat marks. Essentially, I traded very visible marks for other, less visible marks. Yes, it was an improvement but I'd rather they be all the way gone.

SO there is that still...

Plus whether to consider Mohawk Quick Fill Burn-In Stick...

and whether to use Homer's Restor-a-finish or actually put on another coat of whatever's already on there, to address the overall uneven sheen.

?
 
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