Catherine Memmi Wenge dining table

Today I pulled off a minor miracle. My client has had this table for ten years or so, and it has sat right in front of a floor to ceiling window. It had so much sun exposure that the finish on the entire top and side was blushing to the point where I thought it was supposed to be a pickled finish. She told me it was originally the natural wenge wood color. 

 

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This is what the table looked like when I arrived. Kinda cool, minus the stains in the center, but not what she purchased, and not stable at all.  

 

I had come prepared to do what I thought would be minor spot color corrections where the finish has faded, but I realized that I need to strip and refinish the entire table. The dreaded trip to the hardware store ☹️. Drop cloth, stripper, bucket, blades. I can’t always bring my entire arsenal. Luckily the finish was so tired of hanging on, it didn’t take a ton of stripper to get it bubbling.

I let it soak it really well, because wenge dust is not great for you, so I didn’t want to have to do a lot of sanding. The whole stripping process took about 2 hours, since I had to be careful at the edges. I didn’t want to drip on the indamaged sides if stripping them wasn’t necessary.

Wenge is oily, and this was a water-based finish. I have always thought that this particular wood liked oil-based finishes better, but reading into it further, it seems people have good luck with water-based finishes as well, so who know’s why it wasn't holding.

Wenge is oily, and this was a water-based finish. I have always thought that this particular wood liked oil-based finishes better, but reading into it further, it seems people have good luck with water-based finishes as well, so who know’s why it wasn't holding.

I had to do a bit of picking of residual finish out of  the grain. And then managed to get a few coats of   H20 poly on. It took it very nicely. 

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Long day.