How to get back to this look?

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Forum topic by SLM800 posted 06-06-2016 06:14 AM 576 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SLM800's profile


1 post in 871 days

06-06-2016 06:14 AM

I just had a black walnut dining table made however the finish did not come out exactly as I had requested and am looking for some assistance from wood experts on how to get back to the finish that I liked before it was messed with. As a disclaimer, I’m not sure what the woodworker did to the top after the first pic so I can’t say what is on it (of which was just 2 coats of walnut stain I believe), other than several coats of semi gloss clear coat.

My question is, compared to what I have now, how do I get back to this original photo? Can I just strip it and re-stain to get that look? Do I just strip off the clear coat and sand? Do I have to completely sand down the top to rid all of the stain and start fresh, etc? Or is it just not possible at all to get back to this original look?

The characteristics I liked to this first photo were the richness to the color (warm toned) and the contrast to the lighter areas of the wood. Currently, the wood looks cooler in tone and “faded” to me and not as rich and deep as previously, as well as the fact that all the contrast to the lighter areas of the wood are “muddied”. However I believe just adding another coat of stain (after stripping the clear), it would make it too dark and not bring out the contrast. Any advise would be appreciated.

Original photo of what I wanted:

What I currently have:

3 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3165 posts in 2406 days

#1 posted 06-06-2016 10:40 PM

SLM, based on your description “richness to the color (warm toned) and the contrast to the lighter areas of the wood. Currently, the wood looks cooler in tone” I will guess that your table was finished with a water borne product rather than an oil based one. Talk with the person that finished the table for you to determine if my guess is correct and how you might be able to get the finish you want. FWIW

-- Art

View a1Jim's profile


117243 posts in 3727 days

#2 posted 06-06-2016 11:09 PM

I agree with Art ,oil finishes give you a warmer color, you will have to sand it back to bare wood and finish with an oil finish.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3280 days

#3 posted 06-06-2016 11:23 PM

It’s possible that just the lighting was different in the first pic.

-- Gerry,

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