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Chris 07-09-2013 09:46 PM

Fixing a piece of old Furniture.
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I inherited a chest that my great grandfather built back in 1967, a beautiful piece but it sat at my mothers house for the last 20-30 years until she passed this year. Well it got a little banged up and the finish is not great anymore. My question is do any of you guys have any experience with getting dents out of wood? I heard you could use an iron or a steamer to pull them instead of sanding it. Also I think it has a lacquered finish that I would like to recoat, I don't want to sand it all down if not needed but just lightly sand and put on another coat. What do you think?

nealtw 07-09-2013 10:21 PM

Sorry you lost your mother. Your grandfather did some nice work and as it is almost 50 years old, I would not refinish it. This could be treasure in the future, worth more with the dents and scratches.

BTW, most wood can be brought back with water, but the finish has to be off. Take a peice of wood and strick the corner with a hammer, soak that corner with a wet rag and then hammer the flat surfaces (sides) until the corner regains it's shape, when dry it will stick out a little so it can be sanded to the original size.

elbo 07-10-2013 12:00 PM

that's a beautiful piece of furniture. I hesitate to just call it a chest. The inlay work is superb and trying to remove the dents with water may , and probably would, damage them. I would leave it alone. Even the finish looks OK., but if you want to refinish it and you know its lacquer for sure, clean the surface with mineral spirits to remove any wax or dirt on it, then very lightly sand the surface with 400 grit paper and SPRAY it with a clear lacquer of the gloss you want. Personally, I would clean the surface and apply a coat of a good hard furniture wax that needs to be rubbed out ( such as "johnsons paste wax "

mako1 08-05-2014 05:53 PM

Do not attempt to fix the dings and dents.Anything you will do will hurt the original finish and you don't want to refinish a piece like that.If you insist on having it refinished.have a pro do it.A diy could easily ruin this chest.
It is a beautiful piece.

odorf 10-02-2014 04:43 AM

old thread, but i will attempt an answer

i have learned a neat little trick for getting dents out of rifle stocks.

put the wood in the dishwasher,

run [dishwasher] thru a wash cycle, in the dry cycle
put your wood in , steam the wood,

take it out, let it rest/dry, then sand it smooth

this will take out dings and dents

i have heard of wrapping wood in a damp towel putting in the microwave, but i have never attempted that

NOTE...not inlaid or glued pieces.....

Chris 10-02-2014 07:51 AM

This piece is all glued and inlaid pieces. And too big for the dishwasher.

CallMeVilla 10-02-2014 08:25 AM

Old or antique furniture has a patina all its own. Any antique expert would cringe at somebody trying to refinish a classic colonial desk. Just leave it alone and celebrate its age, just to honor your grandfather.

Chris 10-02-2014 10:52 AM

I cleaned it up and used some pledge on it. It looks pretty good without messing with the finish. I think I will leave it this way. I don't want to take a chance at screwing it up.

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