Restoring a vintage '50s desk - need help

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Forum topic by Neophyte posted 12-13-2011 10:03 AM 1684 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 1776 days

12-13-2011 10:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: maple vintage 50s furniture restoring question finishing modern

I am new to the forum and I hope this is an appropriate request. I am an occasional furniture restorer, and my current project is a Paul McCobb (Planner group) double pedestal desk in solid maple. It is a beautiful example of mid-century American design. The original finish is “blond” and I aim to finish it in a darker color to fit my office. I have worked on maple before, but have not used stains, only amber topcoats. I am interested in suggestions or recommendations regarding preparing the wood for staining, type of stain to use and topcoat. Incidentally, at this point I am considering using something like Sherwin W. BAC or General Finishing.
All responses will be appreciated. Thanks.

-- Marc, NY

2 replies so far

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Bill White

4405 posts in 3379 days

#1 posted 12-13-2011 06:27 PM

You could use a toner in the finish to darken as you wish. I often use Transtint dyes in topcoats rather than trying to remove any existing finish. Might even want to wash coat with shellac to seal before applying finish. It’ll stop any contamination from old wax or polish.


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16 posts in 1776 days

#2 posted 12-13-2011 10:22 PM

Thanks for your responses so far. The desktop is not in good shape and has to be refinished one way or another, there are ink and marker stains, scratches and the like. My question is, how forgiving is to use dyed/pigmented topcoat? I have never used them out of fear of not being able to correct mistakes.

-- Marc, NY

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