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Identifying 50's wood veneer for a beginner

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Forum topic by Apulliam22 posted 249 days ago 796 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Apulliam22

10 posts in 251 days


249 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: veneer identification finishing veneering refurbishing

Let me start by saying, my style of refinishing wood is normally painting…I know I know…
I have had my mothers bedroom set from the 50’s for over ten years now. Now is the time for me to refinish it for my daughter.

This piece is old and in bad shape. Someone painted it along the way, luckily for me they did a horrible job! I had plans to repaint once I had sanded it all down and cleaned it because of all the missing veneer, but once I uncovered the veneer I couldn’t even think of painting it! So now here is my question. I have taken off the old paint and clear coat (or whatever the proper term is) with a combination of sanding and applying lacquer thinner and scraping and scrapping and more scrapping. Now I am at the point of what to do next. I have no idea what kinds of wood are on this thing so I’m not sure how to finish it. I was hoping to not have to restain it but use an oil to finish it and then a wax? I don’t know, this part is new to me.

Second picture is with the wood wet. I’m hoping someone can give me some advice on all this since I have been digging through the internet to try and figure out my next move and now am more confused than when I started. Be nice to me wood experts! I’m sure I haven’t done this 100%!


18 replies so far

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CharlieM1958

15664 posts in 2820 days


#1 posted 249 days ago

Go to your local Lowes or Home Depot ans pick up a pint of Watco Danish Oil (natural). Apply as per the directions, and I think you will be happy with the results. If you want to give the finish more protection from moisture and stains, add a few coats of wipe-on, satin polyurethane (Minwax brand, available at the same stores, will do fine) after the oil has had a week or so to dry thoroughly.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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CharlieM1958

15664 posts in 2820 days


#2 posted 249 days ago

By the way, be sure to post photos when you’re done. I think this has the potential to come out very nice.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Rick M.

3785 posts in 982 days


#3 posted 249 days ago

Looks like walnut and mahogany, kind of hard to tell though.
edit: factories use a combination of dyes and stains to even out the color tones. Walnut is a cool brown while mahogany is a reddish brown and with just an oil finish they will remain that way.

Why do people post sideways pictures?

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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Apulliam22

10 posts in 251 days


#4 posted 249 days ago

Thank you, I tried deleting the picture three times and it still posted side ways. It’s right side on my phone, certainly wasn’t my intention to annoy you!
Thank you for the answer though.
I bought teak oil from HD would that work? Or just return and get darnish oil? That’s what I stood there debating.

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Tennessee

1447 posts in 1116 days


#5 posted 249 days ago

For what you are doing, Charlie is right with the finish, and Rick is right that the woods will not be the same tone. If you want everything the same color, you will have to stain the lighter one to match the darker one, a tedious task at best. Probably just put on the Danish and a couple of coats of Satin Poly for durability and call it jake.

I must have refinished a few dozen pieces like this every couple years during the 12 years I refinished. Most of the time, using a paste stripper and a lacquer thinner wash, the colors tended to blend. We would add a slightly darker stain, (it was the 80’s, after all), and then finish by spraying on satin poly, usually three coats. Buff and wax with Johnsons or Butchers and done.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3350 posts in 2562 days


#6 posted 249 days ago

If you use the Watco (I would), allow 72 hours before applying your final finish.
With your lack of experience, and thanks for letting us know that, I would suggest that the use of a gel wiping urethane would be best. It will take several coats, but the result will be what you’re proud of.
I have used the OLD MASTERS gel poly #85108 with very good results. It is a satin sheen, and will give ya a nice patina for an older piece.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Apulliam22

10 posts in 251 days


#7 posted 249 days ago

This thread is going to be one ongoing question!
The vanity of this set is in worse condition.

Any ideas about where I should do with this? The veneer and then the other layer is missing.
Also the dresser side has a large piece missing, my plan was to cut the bottom two inches off untill it is flush with the “bottom” of the drawer that way it wouldn’t be as noticeable?

One more better picture for id purposes, hopefully I can post it right : )
This is the top of the dresser, which took me 5x as long, I guess more poly on top?

Thanks in advance!

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Apulliam22

10 posts in 251 days


#8 posted 249 days ago

Perfect, thank you all for the great advice. Glad I asked. Yes I’m not concerned with matching the wood colors , it’s kind of neat they way it is, plus I’m just trying to take if from a F to a C, not make it perfect.

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CharlieM1958

15664 posts in 2820 days


#9 posted 249 days ago

Taking all things into consideration (like value, condition, and your level of experience), I would just get a dark stain and wipe it onto the areas where the veneer is damaged. Immediately wipe off any stain that gets on the undamaged veneer. With a little trial and error, you should be able to get the color of the substrate fairly close to the veneer color. Yes, the damage will still be there, but it won’t stand out like a sore thumb from across the room.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Apulliam22

10 posts in 251 days


#10 posted 249 days ago

I’m very curious, let’s say I am an expert, what could I do then? Replace the veneer? Don’t worry I won’t try, at least not with a sentimental piece like this one. Also the plywood is cracked at the bottom so if anyone walks too close to it it snags your clothes my son has even stuck his foot under it and gotten a nice veneer splinter, which is another reason I thought to score it and make a cut? Every time I move it I swear another piece comes off. Or maybe cutting it wouldn’t even help that problem? Anyway! Sorry, I have too many questions. I’ll stop for now. Thank again for taking the time to answer my questions.

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CharlieM1958

15664 posts in 2820 days


#11 posted 249 days ago

That drawer front in the photo is so badly damaged that it would probably have to be rebuilt from scratch if you were trying to do 100% restoration. The split wood could be glued back in place, sanded smooth, and the entire side re-veneered. Of course, finding veneer that was a good match would be a challenge in itself.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Apulliam22

10 posts in 251 days


#12 posted 236 days ago

Well after the weather finally made up its mind to stop raining and being humid I finished getting as much of the old finish off as I could. Each drawer was a surprise to uncover! It’s funny that not one is the same? Kind of an odd style to me, but ok. So now im off to start the oiling process. Hope it goes easier than all that stripping and sanding.
Any advice on the dark dented parts I couldn’t get the finish off of? I’m thinking of just leaving it?
W

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Apulliam22

10 posts in 251 days


#13 posted 236 days ago

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Apulliam22

10 posts in 251 days


#14 posted 236 days ago

Dark dented wood:

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Apulliam22

10 posts in 251 days


#15 posted 236 days ago

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