Saving the Old Finish

Don't strip away the old finish on a piece of furniture unless you absolutely have to. That's the sound advice we have had time and time again from professional furniture restorers. There are a number of good reasons be-

Most furniture you buy today is distressed in some way This chair, about two years old. was given a distressed appearance by flecking the finish w;!h darker stain and by brushing distress marks on.

Here you can see slashing brush marks across Ihe arm diagonally Further distressing could have been done by striking a heavy chain a lew times on dilferenl areas of Ihe chair lo make irregular dents hind this advice. For one thing, you become involved in a messy job with hazardous chemicals. For another, the final result can depend on what type of stain was used and how it affected the wood, if it was a waicr stain and soaked deeply but irregularly into the wood, it may be impossible to remove the stain in those areas where it went deep. In the places where it did not soak in. the stain may come off, leaving a patchy look that will be difficult to restain to an even color. Other types of stains will come off, but most professionals feel that stripped wood — and especially wood that has been stripped by harsh hot tank methods — is never quite the same.

Perhaps this is just their love for good woods coming to the fore. Or perhaps they are just more fussy than necessary. But we have come to feel the sajne way. We don't take off the old finish unless it is absolutely necessary.

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