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Awesome Great Finds

Hi everyone!
A couple weeks ago I scored big time on Craiglist. A nice pedestal table, two shelves and four of these beautiful chairs for free.
Most of them are OK, some scuffs here and there and the signs of good use is what they show.

Only one chair was in less than OK state, it looks like it was Fido's favorite. He marked it pretty well. :)  some of the rods on this chair were loose too.

I love their woven rush seats, they're all in good condition.

The pedestal table is also in overall good condition but the finish has to be freshened up.

The top shows lots of wear.

The two shelves are very heavy, I haven't decided how to use them, for now they're patiently waiting in the garage...

While I work on the chairs and table.

As a matter of fact, this other table had been sitting in the garage for a very long time and since new stuff arrived I had to decide what to do with it. I promised my sister in law this is going to be hers. So, I decided to begin working on it right away.

It looks like somebody try to fix it by applying extra lacquer, but it turned out all bumpy. :/

Well, the damaged chair was glued, I began sanding the table...

And I applied Citristrip to the antique table to remove all the layers of varnish it had.

Hey, applying that stuff was easy and the odor didn't even bother me, the table was all covered up and while waiting for the stuff to work I thought why not to apply it to the other table and the chairs... So easy!

Hmmm big mistake, the new acquisitions, chairs and round table, didn't need all that power. A simple sanding would've been easier than removing the chemical stripping. It took me a long time to get rid of that stuff and then I had to do some sanding anyways!

The part that irritated me the most was the Citristrip not working at removing all those layers of varnish the antique table had. :(

I continued working on the chairs and round table, perhaps on my next post I'll give you an update. I need to go and find what else might work better at removing all those layers on the old table.

Have you done this before? stripping an old table all the way to the wood? What worked for you?

Thanks in advance for your replies!

You can check the new look on the round pedestal table and chairs right HERE.


Linking at:
My uncommon Slice of Suburbia,  Coastal Charm,  A Stroll Thru Life,  Savvy Southern Style,  Stone Gable French Country Cottage, Miss Mustard SeedCommon GroundThrifty Decor Chick ,  Between Naps on the Porch,  Home Stories A to ZUncommonThe 36th Avenue, TatertotandjelloMiss Mustard Seed


  1. We've used the Citristrip before and I think you are right. Sometimes it is much easier to sand pieces.

  2. I have had too many bad experiences with stripping wood. Now I sand--messy and work but the results are much better. I have hired professional refinishers for a couple of very fine pieces to strip the finish and then I completed the finishing. Cheap pieces in not great shape--paint!!

  3. I hate to stripping furniture ( the couple of times I have done it) messy, difficult. I prefer to just use the sander with a different grit. great finds!

  4. Cristina, I use a mixture of 1/2 acetone ad 1/2 lacquer thinner...use steel wool and the mixture to "scrub" the piece. Use old toothbrushes saturated in the mixture to get in the corners and grooves. Works like a CHARM and melts the old finish right off. If the finish is real heavy, I use the Citristrip first, then start "washing" the piece with this is a tutorial I did for an old table I stripped....
    Give this a shot and let me know how it works for is a life saver for me since I strip furniture all the time!

  5. Dang..I just went back a reread that tutorial...that is one long tutorial. But honestly, it tells you how to get it done the right way. LOVE your finds...can't wait to see what you do with them. I will be featuring a walnut table I stripped and refinished this week! Same process, smaller scale.

  6. Beck, Thanks so much, your tutorial is just awesome! You did a wonderful job on that table, I love it! Ha, it looks like I still have a long way to go. :/

  7. BTW, are you going to stain the pieces? Have you tried the General Finishes gel stain process? I LOVE it for pieces I don't want to strip all the way down...or even pieces I do strip. I used it on my bedside tables and two bathroom vanities and it has held up marvelously! I only suggest it because if you want to stain the table base and chairs, would be perfect and keep you from have to strip them down to bare wood.
    On the Duncan Phyfe table, strip it down using the tutorial and then use a tung oil finish....NO STAIN! I used that process on my Duncan Phyfe table and chairs and two drum tables I have...BEAUTIFUL! And it looks like the original finish! When you do the mineral spirit wash, you will get an idea of the color the wood will be after you apply 2-3 coats of tung oil don't let the "stripped" color alarm you! It WON'T be that color after you put a finish on!

  8. How I hate stripping furniture! I feel for you but I know it will be gorgeous when you are done!

  9. Here is a trick I learned many antiques ago. When stripping an old varnish/ shellac antique piece I use Denatured Alcohol and steel wool. It causes the the varnish to melt and the finish,stain and scratches to blend. First you will have a cloudy haze but don't give up because soon you will have a beautiful surface ready for your protective coat of wax, poly etc. I work in sections (alcohol evaporates) and then do a final all over rinse with the denatured alcohol for the final blend. Seriously! it is that easy in just one day! I think I have done at least 15 pieces this way. CAUTION: does not work on POLY finishes. Thanks for the great blog!! Tracy

  10. Hola Cristina querida ! Tienes un gran trabajo por delante pero esas piezas prometen mucho .. Que tengas buenas noches

  11. Hey everyone, Thanks so much for all your advice and good wishes! Right now I'm working on the round table and chairs ---> painting them. Well, except the table top. I'll be working on the old table as soon as I finish what I'm doing. Can't wait to try Beck and Tracy's techniques and see what works best! Again, Thanks!

  12. Great finds for free! Can't wait to see them finished!

  13. I haven't ever stripped anything...I don't think. But, if I do I'm coming back here to learn how to do it! You always find the best stuff. It's going to look great!

  14. From experience i echo the above - you must have some idea of what kind of varnish was incorrectly applied. I most often use Pastor Bruce's method.


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