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Old 11-29-2005, 09:22 AM   #21
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Those photos up near the top of the thread confuse me. The ones that Cruiser posted. They look like the back side of the cabinet wood, the "unfinished" side that has no veneer on it. That's not birch, that's just crappy old plywood, isn't it? The pics that I posted are birch veneer.

I think the "unfinished" side of the plywood was just splashed with some kind of sealer after it was put in. At least that's how it looks on my trailer, but it might have been a PO that did that.
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:32 AM   #22
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hard to do with retail products

I have been a professional furniture restorer/refinisher for 40 years and I can tell you "blonde" finishes are among the most difficult to match. They are especially hard and sometimes impossible to achieve with do-it -yourself products. Often the only way to achieve a match is a total refinish. You will hear a lot of discussion among the antique "experts" about patina and saving the original finish. However a really skilled finisher is like an artist and can achieve any look using the right materials and techniques many of which we keep as our own secrets. It's like art and even the experts can be fooled.
A lot of the blonde finishes are achieved using sealers ,tinted lacquers, or glazes in conjunction with stains in a multi- step process. There are lots of skilled craftsmen out east, seek one out and solicit some advice. I've found the word "Airstream" to be magic when seeking help.
Iwill be refinishing my 63 Globetrotters blonde woodwork (blonde finish) in the future and will post some pictures of the process and materials. I wish I could say there is a quick and easy way but it takes hard work and quality materials to get a really fine result.
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Old 11-29-2005, 11:12 AM   #23
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63Air, as a professional restorer of furniture, what do you think about products like Howard's "Restor-a-finish"? My wood is in pretty good shape for the most part and I've been pretty happy with the results. Obviously it's not going to look like it's brand-new because the restor-a-finish can't hide scratches in the veneer or dings, but it seems to be a pretty good product.

What's your opinion on it?
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:13 PM   #24
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Not familiar with Howards

I have never used this particular product so I don't don't really have an opinion on it. However there are many out there under a variety of names that sound very similar in what they do. I do not use them as they really don't achieve results that please me. However some people find the results to be very acceptable. To me the analogy would be like painting a car with spray cans vs. a spray gun and paint from a supply house.

A lot of time you can make cabinetry look good by cleaning it using mild soap and water, drying with a soft towel, polishing with fine steel wool and pure lemon oil (with the grain), and applying a quality paste wax that is recommended for furniture. Most important thing is to avoid polishes/cleaners with silicone in them.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:16 PM   #25
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Out of curiousity... if I wanted to have this work professionally done, with all the cabinets out of the trailer, what do you think it would run? I have a 26' Cruiser (like an overlander).
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Old 11-29-2005, 09:03 PM   #26
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Hard to say on cost

Hard to say say but a whole lot less with the cabinets out. Would depend on how much repair was needed and what type of finish. My cabinets need some veneer work and I plan to do the finish work without removing them from the trailer. Lots of time masking but hey no carved work or paint to deal with so should be an easy job. I think I am going to try and figure a square foot rate using mine as the "lab".
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:20 PM   #27
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Alright, just curious. I'm going to continue on my merry path of amateur wood restoration and see what happens. If I really screw up, then I'll call in the pros!
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:29 PM   #28
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Restoration Difficulties

So the Howard's and fine steel wool worked wonders in places with almost no wear and tear, like the wardrobe doors and so on, but when I started trying to restore the finish in some of the more heavily worn areas, like the cabinet that holds the refrigerator.... UGH!

Places like that need repairs. The veneer is chipped in places and in there are some dents and scratches. They're small enough, but after patching, filling or replacing the missing veneer will need to be stained. And matching to the patina'ed finish is going to be impossibly beyond my skill level.

So now I'm struggling with the idea of stripping the finish and starting over. I'm really concerned with a stripper possibly softening the glue that holds the veneer to plywood.

Also, what do I do to address the (small amounts of) water damage that I have at some of the cabinet bottoms? In those places the plywood has delaminated and is even missing pretty sizeable chunks, some from middle layers of the ply....
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:02 PM   #29
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I'm amazed with Restore-A-Finish

I tried Howard Restore-A-Finish based on advice from an antique furniture dealer. Didn't even know this had come up on the forums. I needed to do something but didn't want to deal with Formby's or something more invasive. I used Howard's in golden oak for the oak interior of my 1960 TW. There was finish damage from water spotting on the wood near the bath vanity. I was amazed. Here is the before and after.

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I did the whole trailer last Sunday and today the wood had lightened up a bit but the water damage is still gone. Never used steel wool, just a soft cloth. The odors from the product were minimal compared to other refinishers I've used. Today I followed up with Howard Feed-N-Wax. Now all the wood just glows, I'm totally pleased with this quick fix.
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Old 09-17-2006, 05:46 PM   #30
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Name that wood....

This is a picture from my 56 caravanner. I think it's birth but it could be maple, either way it's got a nice honey finish.

What were the cabinets made out of in the 50s?

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Old 09-18-2006, 09:42 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarfoot
I tried Howard Restore-A-Finish based on advice from an antique furniture dealer. Didn't even know this had come up on the forums. I needed to do something but didn't want to deal with Formby's or something more invasive. I used Howard's in golden oak for the oak interior of my 1960 TW. There was finish damage from water spotting on the wood near the bath vanity. I was amazed. Here is the before and after.
Attachment 25811 Attachment 25812
I did the whole trailer last Sunday and today the wood had lightened up a bit but the water damage is still gone. Never used steel wool, just a soft cloth. The odors from the product were minimal compared to other refinishers I've used. Today I followed up with Howard Feed-N-Wax. Now all the wood just glows, I'm totally pleased with this quick fix.
Looks really nice!
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