Refinishing Duncan Phyfe table

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Forum topic by willhime posted 03-26-2021 04:11 PM 376 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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186 posts in 2704 days

03-26-2021 04:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question resource tip trick sander refurbishing finishing

I don’t have a lot of experience refinishing antiques and someone asked if I could restore this Duncan Phyfe style end table. My first instinct was to sand it all down and just refinish it with a stain but they said they want the gold braiding on top maintained along with all the other colors. From what I can see, the braiding looks painted on. How does one go about restoring something like this to its original glory while maintaining so many conflicting colors ?

-- Burn your fire for no witness

3 replies so far

View LesB's profile


3031 posts in 4608 days

#1 posted 03-26-2021 04:59 PM

This a task for someone with a lot of experience. I would not touch it if I were you. Veneers, inlays, top paint, all can lead to a disaster. Also if the table is a “collectible” refinishing can reduce the value.

-- Les B, Oregon

View bilyo's profile


1376 posts in 2267 days

#2 posted 03-26-2021 05:47 PM

I agree with LesB. Clean it, wax it, and otherwise leave it alone. It will be ruined by anything less than careful professional restoration. Even then, as Les said, the loss of the original finish will devalue it.

View SMP's profile


4459 posts in 1070 days

#3 posted 03-26-2021 05:57 PM

If it were mine, i would take Howards Feed n Wax and an ultra fine mirka pad and clean it up the best i could. Really cool table BTW, and much better than a Barney Phyfe table.

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