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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: yellow pine church pew

Posted By: roger demuth <fero@sbcglobal.net> (adsl-70-228-112-133.dsl.akrnoh.ameritech.net)
Date: 8/15/5 13:15

In Response To: yellow pine church pew (Liz Richards)

Liz, Names carved in could be considered character but they are pretty unsightly. Just understand that if you refinish you will diminish any value the pew has and a complete refinish is never recommended in an antique, but it sounds like you want the grafitti gone.

Dipping tends to loosen old joints but that probably wouldn't be a problem as a pew has few joints to loosen in the first place. More importantly, dipping often takes away any character the wood has so i wouldn't have it dipped. Hand stripping would not be that hard though. It has lots of flat or fairly flat areas. My preference for stripper is Kleenstrip semi paste, and buy a gallon....you will need it! Brush it on, let it sit a half hour and scrape or wipe it off. Quite often it will turn to a sludge and easy to wipe off with paper towels (lots of paper towels!). Clean up with naptha or lacquer thinner and let dry overnight.

Now sand, sand, sand. If you have a random orbital sander or can borrow one that would take it down fairly fast. Start with 100 grit, then 150, followed by hand sanding with 220. Stain and finish.

This is pretty drastic sanding but it sounds like drastic measures are called for. Just remember, you won't get all the scratches out. Cross grain scratches tend to tear the wood fibres making it very difficult to sand them out. Don't try and make it look new.

Are you sure it is pine though? Oak is more popular in church pews...at least in my area.

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