Have to share the FINAL photos of the chest that I refinished. I got it in Alameda at the swap market there and I knew that most of it was veneer (obviously had been replacing the mahogany wood) but I still bought it (cheap). It was an impulse buy and sadly sat in our garage the last 2.5 years. Well since I’ve been on my ‘kick’ of wanting to work on my DIY projects, (before the Haven Conference too) – this was one that I was happy I finally finished.
First stripping the very thick old varnish they had covered it with (obviously to cover the veneer wood – aka, fake wood – with the mahogany). I am one though that HAS to see the woods natural beauty, all the veins, knots and markings from wear, tear and use. (Sounds like what I say when I convince Michael – I’m still worthy as an old girlfriend). HAHA
When I started to strip it, the first batch of stripper just got very mucky and didn’t work (I wasn’t sure if was the heat) so I got another one and tried more. This time a little more success. It also revealed though stripping where they had gone AGAINST the grain of the wood (ugh), but I was able to get some of those out first with a very light sandpaper, I didn’t want to sand it too hard and I then followed up with steel wool – which definitely helped remove more of the sticky stripper. Also glad I had the Dremel for the grooves (I wanted to make sure you could see them).
Lastly, I did go over it again with more sandpaper and lots of work-out for my arms and back! Man I am getting old. teehee But finally got it to where I was happy to see the grain and decided that I should stain it to semi-match the two wood finishes. I’m happy though with the two tones and the veneer doesn’t bother me. What do you think? SMOOTH and prettier now. And I’ve added some cedar inside and it will be replacing Michael’s cruddy old cheap coffee table in his office. He decided since it’s so deep, he can now store some of his larger camera gear items in it.
Love how smooth the finish is and very glad I removed the old dark stain they had covered it with. I will eventually add some Murphy’s Oil to keep it protected too. Should have added a better BEFORE picture, but this should give you an idea of what I started with..
And HAPPY AFTER…