Repairing thomasville side table top finish?

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Forum topic by BerBer5985 posted 02-22-2012 11:31 PM 2605 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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445 posts in 1844 days

02-22-2012 11:31 PM

I have some older thomasville furniture that was a handmedown from my parents and one if the side tables has watermarks and a little damage from wet glasses. Is there anyway to find out what finish was used and a good repair method? Seems to me it would be lacquer or shellac but probably lacquer. Any way to tell?

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

4 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1785 days

#1 posted 02-23-2012 12:53 AM

It’s gonna be some kind if solvent lacquer or varnish finish. If it’s worth refinishing, do it right by stripping to bare wood before refinishing.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View wisno's profile


88 posts in 2435 days

#2 posted 02-23-2012 06:36 AM

You can test the finish panel with some acetone or thinner.
If the thinner resolve the finish, then the finish could be varnish, lacquer, shellac or other “solvent dry coating”. But if the finish does not resolved with thinner, then it is the chemical reaction dry coating (PU or Acid Catalyzed).

You may be able to refinish without strip off your old finish if the problem is only about the film coating film.

How to refinish the old finish.


Good luck


View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 1844 days

#3 posted 02-23-2012 01:39 PM

I believe it’s all solid cherry stained a deeper red mahogany color from what I can tell. Instead of buying a brand new bed set or building a new set I’m thinking refinishing this set to a color she would like better and changing the hardware would be handwork but much cheaper than buying or building a new set. If it is lacquer can you strip the entire finish down using a lacquer thinner or will I need to scrape and sand the entire piece to get to raw wood?

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View HorizontalMike's profile


7067 posts in 2337 days

#4 posted 02-23-2012 03:09 PM

I have some older Thomasville bedroom pieces that are great (bought them new way back when I worked in a furniture store ~1980), but in fact are high quality veneer in some of the thicker components. It wouldn’t hurt to double check that in fact all of what you are wanting to refinish/strip is hardwood.

FWIW in my case, only the table/dresser tops and the base are veneered composite while all of the doors, drawers, and carcase(s) are solid hardwood or hardwood-to-hardwood veneer. Just my 2-cents…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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