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.  

Lacquered Stone Coffee Table

Today I repaired some damage to this black lacquered table for my designer client Jenny J Norris Interiors. The top consisted of 4 large stone panels, that fit into place on a hardwood base. It had gotten damaged in shipping. Each panel weighed about 50 pounds.  There were a few scratches, and chips, and also a moisture ring. I filled the damage, matched the black, and then managed to buff out the other marks with a lot of elbow grease. I’ve honestly never worked on lacquered stone before. I like the quality of the shine on the pitted and mottled surface, which manages to show the best qualities of both materials. 

 

Scratches down to the stone

Scratches down to the stone

The water mark came out more easily than I expected because the piece had been restored prior to this, and the top layer of lacquer was not bonding well, so I simply buffed off the new layer, and it disappeared. 

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Large area of moisture damage  

 

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Chips along edges

 

The end result was a much smoother shinier surface, and all the clouding from the old lacquer, and all the impact damage was reversed.  

 

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End result