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By ALS57
#1199344
Hi Folks
I need to refinish my new 60s GPlan room divider as it has picked up a couple of shallow scuffs in the teak veneer and has dark stain which looks like red wine, as per the photos.
Can you please advise me on the correct procedure to initially sort these two issues out and then refinish the whole unit. The scuff is shallow and has not broken through the veneer layer. I have very little experience in furniture restoration but have vehicle refinishing skills so I have a steady and careful hand when it comes to sanding surfaces so I'm hoping I can remove these faults without breaking through the veneer.
Any help would be much appreciated.
Cheers
Al

Gplan1.jpg
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By custard
#1199352
ALS57 wrote:I have a steady and careful hand when it comes to sanding surfaces so I'm hoping I can remove these faults without breaking through the veneer.


Commercial veneer is normally 0.6mm thick, the red wine stain may go all the way through to the substrate.

If so you're faced with bleaching out the stain and recolouring, or patching in a repair. Both of those options require a fair bit of skill and experience to pull off successfully.
By ALS57
#1199605
OK thanks custard, I'm not going to worry too much about the dark stain.

For the whole unit, do I give it a light sand then finish with Danish Oil for the best result?

Thanks again, Al
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By custard
#1199609
ALS57 wrote:OK thanks custard, I'm not going to worry too much about the dark stain.

For the whole unit, do I give it a light sand then finish with Danish Oil for the best result?

Thanks again, Al


The unit was originally sprayed, it's a tribute to the quality of the original job that it's sailed past the usual twenty year life expectancy without delimitation and scabiness. However, if you give it a light sanding then you'll remove some of the lacquer but not all, so when you apply Danish Oil it will penetrate through to the timber veneer and darken it in some areas but not all, consequently it'll look patchy and blotchy.

I'd recommend a coat of wax and leave it at that.
By galleywood
#1199737
Custard

I have a nest of three G Plan side tables, two of which have white (heat?) damage and the joints between the top and the leg frames are coming apart.
Assuming the top has a similarly thin veneer to the OP's room divider, how would you suggest that I remove the varnish and with what should I finish it with - if wax, what type?
Thanks.
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By custard
#1199746
galleywood wrote:Custard

I have a nest of three G Plan side tables, two of which have white (heat?) damage and the joints between the top and the leg frames are coming apart.
Assuming the top has a similarly thin veneer to the OP's room divider, how would you suggest that I remove the varnish and with what should I finish it with - if wax, what type?
Thanks.


The white stain is most probably moisture trapped in the surface finish. When the side tables were new the finish would have been robust enough to withstand some dampness or a fairly hot mug, but after several decades the finish is starting to break down and will become increasingly vulnerable to this. You can play a hair dryer on low heat over the white stain, or place a white rag on the top and set an iron on the lowest heat setting (with the steam setting turned off) over the stain to drive the moisture out. Another option is to rub some oil or even paste wax onto the stain in the hope it will fill up the minute fractures that are causing the whiteness.

However, even if you fix the problem with one of these measures the fact is the original lacquer finish is now past it's sell by date, so unless you treat it with kid gloves you'll likely get the same problem elsewhere. Twenty years is not a bad life expectancy for a sprayed finish, the fact that it's lasted longer is a tribute to G Plan's quality control and the nitro finishes they originally used, I'm sceptical modern water based lacquers will do as well.

If the joints are also failing then disassemble the piece before stripping to give you better access. Chemical stripping is best with veneer, but if you're careful a scraper can get the job done. Finish off with some 320 grit and reglue the joints. Finish to taste really. Satin water based poly varnish is simple enough, a coat of wax on top will give a bit more shine, and if it's applied vigorously with 0000 wire wool (or better still a modern substitute wire wool) then it'll also improve the surface of the varnish at the same time.
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By custard
#1199784
galleywood wrote:Thanks for your rely Custard.
Chemical stripping of the top would avoid the risk of breaking through the veneer - what product would you suggest, please.?


Current Nitromors will work well enough. Lacquer thinner might even be man enough on its own, but I often find there are sections underneath or on the inside of the legs that have been more protected and the finish is still very durable, so you're left with a job half done.
By ALS57
#1200159
custard wrote:
ALS57 wrote:OK thanks custard, I'm not going to worry too much about the dark stain.

For the whole unit, do I give it a light sand then finish with Danish Oil for the best result?

Thanks again, Al


The unit was originally sprayed, it's a tribute to the quality of the original job that it's sailed past the usual twenty year life expectancy without delimitation and scabiness. However, if you give it a light sanding then you'll remove some of the lacquer but not all, so when you apply Danish Oil it will penetrate through to the timber veneer and darken it in some areas but not all, consequently it'll look patchy and blotchy.

I'd recommend a coat of wax and leave it at that.


Thanks again, which wax would you recommend to keep the matt - semi matt finish?

Thanks

Al
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By custard
#1200245
ALS57 wrote:which wax would you recommend to keep the matt - semi matt finish?


The lowest gloss wax I'm aware of are microcrystaline waxes such as "Renaissance". They're a fraction less glossy than typical paste waxes, which in turn are significantly less glossy than a traditional hard wax.
By ALS57
#1200495
Thanks again Custard
I cleaned the whole thing with meths and surprisingly managed to get just about all the stains out using a soft scouring pad and water quickly drying the surface as I went. I ended up with a fairly even scuffed / dry looking finish on the whole piece. I didn't deliberately ignore all your advice custard but after testing an area that would have been hidden against the wall the scuffed finish looked stunning using danish oil so that's the route I chose. It's a huge transformation for a days work and really chuffed with the result.
Cheers
Al

IMG_20180114_084232.jpg
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By custard
#1200531
Well done, that looks superb!

You've also got yourself an appreciating asset so it's worth looking after, where as most antique furniture has been tumbling in value since the 1990's, Danish and mid-century modern pieces like this continue to appreciate. It's easy to understand why, they fit well into modern homes and apartments and they harmonise with contemporary decor.
By Spearmint Wino
#1214665
ALS57 wrote:I cleaned the whole thing with meths and using a soft scouring pad and water quickly drying the surface as I went.


Nice work on this!

I need to sort out a teak veneered mid-century dining table that's been a bit neglected so will give your method a try. A liberal polishing has just left the wood looking faded so it seems the original surface has all but worn out.