I could write a long post on all kinds of ways to tackle water spots, towel marks, glass bottom rings, scratches, etc. I could talk about different finishes and oils, and the merits of one over the other. We could talk about polyurethane vs. a natural finish, replacing veneer, and sanding techniques.
But instead I’m just posting what is basically an unpaid ad for Howard Wood Restoration products. They are bottled magic.
My friend who owned a vintage store in Denver called Lee Alex Decor (sadly, closed now), turned me onto this stuff a couple of years ago. You can walk into a thrift store and buy a piece of furniture that no one would look twice at, and with a couple of wipes, you’ve got a new looking piece of Midcentury goodness! (While this might be slight exaggeration, it’s actually not too far fetched!)
Simply pick the color of Howard Restor-a-Finish that most closely matches your furniture (for almost everything I own I use Walnut or Dark Walnut), then apply the product with a soft cloth and wipe off. Your furniture will look amazing, and you get the added bonus of learning Karate (“wipe on, wipe off”).
If you’ve got crazing (lots of tiny cracks) or a scratch that’s a bit of a doozey, you may need to apply Restor-a-Finish with 0000 super fine steel wool. It made me nervous when I first tried it, but it worked great. And you’d be amazed at the kinds of blemishes (even blistering and raised finishes!) this can take care of.
If you can’t get to Lowe’s or Home Depot, it’s also available on Amazon, though the price is actually best at the local store.
Below are some pics of our Danish bar (in teak). I actually didn’t even use the Restor-a-Finish on this, just the Feed-n-Wax. Unfortunately I don’t have any “before” pics, but you think there weren’t copious drink rings, scratches, and scuffs on a 70 year old, well-used bar?
This stuff is amazing.