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Restoring Original Shine to Furniture

Posted By: Adam Pflum <adampflum@hotmail.com> (p4-89.senate.gov)
Date: 11/27/1 14:23

I found some helpful archived emails but still have questions so.... I have recently inherited a 1930's bedroom set from my grandparents. They bought the set new when they got married in 1933. Upon inspection and comparison to a scrap piece of mahogany, the entire set is solid mahogany with a dark burgundy stain. Unfortunately, I have two problems.

1. Small problem. I took the brass handles off to remove the almost 70 yrs of tarnish. This is not a fun process. Do any of the dips that I see on TV work or should I continue with the brass polish? I am concerned also because on a few of the handles, I have revealed the silver-colored metal underneath.

2. Bigger problem. a. Unfortunately, I was not a careful as I should have been in the move and there are now whiteish scratches on the front and sides of the dresser and chest of drawers. Some of the scratches look like they go down to the wood itself. When I used furniture oil, the scratches went away.... for about 2 weeks until the oil either dried or soaked deeper into the wood. And b. When I took the brass handles off, the preserved finish underneath was incredibly glossy. I had no idea the pieces were originally that glossy. They currently have a mat finish. I was wondering how to fix the scratches and to restore the finish to its original condition?

I also have a question about the process because when watching one of the antiques shows on TV, I saw a segment on re-melting the orignial finish. I don't remember the details but it involved cleaning the piece with some type of spirit, using steel wool to rough the surface, and then using some type of alcohol to re-melt the finish to reproduce the orignial glossy finish. I was thinking about trying this but I wanted to get advice on how exactly to proceed with this, if I should proceed at all. Does anyone know the exact process and products for this process? My overall goal is for the pieces to have the best appearance possible and retain as much value as possible. I'm grateful for my antiques and grateful to you guys for your help. Thanks again, Adam Pflum

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