How to restore an old trestle table

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lol999
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How to restore an old trestle table

Postby lol999 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:39 pm

Hi, new to the forum and to furniture restoration. I managed to pick up a folding wooden trestle table last year for free. It has a makers stamp, H&S Ltd 1944 so it's a few years old.
It is essentially bare wood which is quite dirty, has the odd bit of paint on it and the metal ware is rusty.

What would be the best way to restore this thing or should I just leave as is?


Many thanks.

AsonnyA
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Re: How to restore an old trestle table

Postby AsonnyA » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:27 pm

> What would be the best way to restore this thing or should I just leave as is?

We can't answer that for you. What do you want it for? Is it in functioning order or does it need work to function?

If it's just dirty, with some unsightly paint, then clean it, if that''s all it needs. You can always do something different, later on, should you change your mind.

Some pics would help, if you'd want details as to what needs to be done.

Trestle table, hmmmm!?! How would one fold the trestle board or does it detatch?

Sonny

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Re: How to restore an old trestle table

Postby lol999 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:55 am

Sorry for the delay in replying, the pictures I took were too big and I have only just found tine to resize them.
The trestle is all in one, I cant remember the exact mechanism but it folds and locks neatly.
I think I am going to end up selling it which is a shame as it is to me a really nice piece but I have no room for it.
Ordinarily I would have hit it with the orbital sander but after watching programmes such as Salvage Hunter where the main man advocates leaving stuff mucky and rusty I have to wonder what is best.
Anyway here are some pictures.
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AsonnyA
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Re: How to restore an old trestle table

Postby AsonnyA » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:52 pm

Looks like a nice vintage/old piece. Brush it off with a wire brush, not too hard of scrubbing. Apply a stripper to the top, especially the painted areas, and on some of those underside areas, as well. It should clean up fairly well. You want to maintain the old look, but not the off-colored stuff and the paint/stain (?) debris/contaminate blemishes. I'd say not to try to strip it to be perfectly clean and free of old patina, i.e., leave some vestige of age and use on it.

On the first and last pic there is a "clean looking board"... looks like a relatively new common 2X4... a past repair, replacement of that board?.... I can't tell for sure. It just seems a different color, compared to the other boards. That board doesn't seem to match the other old looking boards. If possible, replace that board with an old salvaged appropriate looking board. If replacing is not an option, then soak a Brillo (scrub pad) size wad of steel wool in 2 cups of vinegar for a few-3-4 days. Once the steel wool has dissolved, dab a small amount (a couple of Q-Tip dabs) of the solution onto an inconspicuous area of that odd looking board. Once dry (5-10 minutes in warm/hot sunlight), the solution will faux age the wood, possibly "coloring" it to a more appropriate color match to the rest of the wood. If you like this test result, then you can faux age the rest of the board.

*You can test the faux aging technique on some scrap lumber, to see how it dries, colors, etc. It paints on like painting with water. With a small or 3" brush, wet the surface fairly good with full brush strokes (drips and runs are ok). Once a test area (1 sqaure foot?) has been wet, wipe off the excess with paper towel. Once you see the process of wetting and wiping excess (it goes fast), then you can brush on/wet larger areas. For that table, I could/would wet probably 1/4 the surface, before wiping the excess. , then move on. When wetting, you can slap the solution on really fast, do the quick wipe down, and move on. But test a scrap board first, to get the hang of it, if you opt for this option/technique. It's cheap and easy (a neat trick) with good results, for many "aging" applications.

A lacquer or shellac finish would be ok, but if you plan to use (or family abuse) the table, then a more durable finish would be recommended. But lacquer and shellac repairs easily. You can apply just about any finish over a shellac oat, also, should you later decide to put a more durable finish on it.... i.e., with a shellac finish, lightly sand, then apply a different finish.

If you strip the table and apply a lacquer finish and you end up with some spots that "aren't right" (not smooth, meaning defective resulting coat, then I'd guess all the old paint (or any other old finish, if applicable) has not been completely removed. The solvent of the lacquer (acetone) can act as a stripper (to some degree). If any old finish/paint is still on the table, the acetone might cause it to surface, to rise up from the wood. Sanding and re-applying another coat or two should fix that. Try to make sure all old finish is stripped off, if you do some stripping.

If your table top comes out nice and fairly clean, then you might only need is to wax it, rather than applying a dedicated finish. Lightly sand the surface smooth, somewhat smooth, then wax. Just a waxed look is a very nice alternative to finishing, especially for an old vintage/antique raw-wood (preference) farm table, farm-like table. BreWax or TreWax are good waxes for this application. Read the instructions on the cans. A more expensive wax is Pate Dugay, which you can get in colored selections. Pate Dugay takes a good bit longer the dry (maybe a day or so longer, depending on the raw wood and how much paste you apply. Don't apply big gobs of Pate Dugay. Do small areas at a time. Pate Dugay results are very nice, just takes a lot longer for application, drying, buffing, what worth the effort. Alas, Pate Dugay is somewhat expensive.... Takes years to use up a whole can.
https://www.google.com/search?q=pate+du ... e&ie=UTF-8


No matter what the project, prep work is important. Take time to strip, clean or whatever else, before finishing.... including hardware inspection, cleaning, etc. Your results will be its best if care is taken with the prep work. I think that table is worth the effort, it's a nice table.

Sonny

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Re: How to restore an old trestle table

Postby lol999 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:31 am

Many, many thanks Sonny you have set me in the right direction. I'll post some pictures when I get the work finished.

AsonnyA
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Re: How to restore an old trestle table

Postby AsonnyA » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:19 am

I didn't proof read my previous post, before posting.

> "Pate Dugay takes a good bit longer the dry (maybe a day or so longer, depending on the raw wood and how much paste you apply. Don't apply big gobs of Pate Dugay. Do small areas at a time."

If you opt for using Pate Dugay, once you apply a dab, rub it in as you would any wax. With a clean cloth (paper towel), wipe off any excess. You don't want to leave any "built up" wax. For colored Pate Dugay, use rubber gloves or your fingers will be stained the color.


> "Pate Dugay results are very nice, just takes a lot longer for application, drying, buffing, what worth the effort. Alas, Pate Dugay is somewhat expensive.... Takes years to use up a whole can."

That should read "Pate Dugay results are very nice, just takes a lot longer for application, drying, buffing, BUT worth the effort. Alas, Pate Dugay is somewhat expensive.... Takes years to use up a whole can."

Additionally:
I use Pate Dugay for waxing some of my furniture, as well as my (upholstery) customers' furniture. I've had decorators ask me to apply this wax to some customer's furniture, also. I have an assortment of flavors/colors of Pate Dugay. After application, drying, and final buffing, this wax may still be "damp" or in a condition to have some surface tinting to rub off. After about a week (after finish buffing), buff it again, really hard. You don't want any lingering surface coloration to rub off, later on. So after about a week, buff it again, hard buffing/rubbing, to make sure it's "dry", to make sure no coloration comes off.... Meaning, if it's not quite "dry", as with on a seating piece of furniture, the coloring can come off and onto someone's clothes, staining one's clothes. So make sure, either before buffing or after buffing, that the finished surface is fully "dry", so that no coloration rubs off with normal use. This scenario is more happenstance when the wax is applied to raw wood. Rarely does this happenstance occur with a varnished/finished piece, where the finish, itself, is waxed, and not the wood, itself. So if you wax the table's raw wood (option), take care to buff out all coloration. You can test this concept on some scrap raw and finished wood, to see the difference.

As to Brewax or Trewax, I sanded smooth an Eastern Red cedar raw wood curio cabinet and applied Trewax. Smooth as silk results. This kind of waxed surface will not repel or resist moisture, water, wet drinking glasses, fluids, etc. If you use only Brewax or Trewax on your raw wood table top, you will need to wipe up any wet areas, immediately. Use coasters and/or place mats when dining or the like. Pate Dugay is moderately water/fluid resistant, but not totally resistant.

Sonny


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