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Old 02-05-2014, 04:34 PM   #1
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Default this is going to end poorly….

http://i1349.photobucket.com/albums/...s2d1c1722.jpeg
Hope everyone is well! So I've been asked to refinish this top. But they only want the worn area of the desk re-stained and then the entire top poly'd.

If it were up to me, i'd strip the entire top and then do it that way. Unfortunately, this is what they want. So any advice would be much appreciated. I could sand down the worn area, stain it with something close to original, and then poly the whole top….. Or i could scuff the whole top and use some polyshades to blend in the edges to the old stain….. (not a fan of poly shades but I may have to go this route??) I have a feeling this is going to end poorly. Any advice would really be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:42 PM   #2
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We've done this many times in the past. As long as the stain match is good it has always turned out very nice.

Sand down the area with the faded/worn finish/stain. Use your stain match, coat the entire top as you said and you should be good to go.

I'm sure others might have a different opinion or approach but it has always worked out well for us in the past.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:48 PM   #3
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I guess my biggest concern is the area where I'll stop sanding down to bare wood for the new stain to take. I'm hoping that there isn't a huge difference or "line" where the old stain ends and the new stain begins.

Hearing that it's been successfully done before has given me hope though. thank you.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:28 PM   #4
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The times I've done this type of repair it has usually worked out as DWBrooks said, get the stain match as close as possible and it should work fine. If you do a sample on the desk surface and its off a little it will usually blend in when you tweak your final match and stain the whole surface.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:26 PM   #5
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I have never done this,but for sure want to see the end of it.keep is posted.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:29 PM   #6
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I would pass. Seems they are too cheap to just refinish the whole thing the right way. Headache waiting to happen. Just my $.02.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:33 PM   #7
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I don't think I have ever regretted turning down a project. Something like this sends red flags. If you do it this way and they are not happy with the results who do you think will suffer the consequences?? Certainly not them!
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:40 PM   #8
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It looks like a business, could this lead to more work? Or could not doing this work have someone come in and take future work from you? Those are my concerns. Plus, that desk is no showpiece. Just fire it up and match it. More than half the desk is covered by crap anyway!
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:59 PM   #9
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I'd tell them the only way to assure a proper outcome is to redo the whole top. Half a job equals half-assed results.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:02 PM   #10
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What is the reason for not doing the whole top?
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:28 PM   #11
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Make sure they understand that by not doing the whole surface and just a touch up of the worn area there is no guarantee it will turn out perfect.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:25 PM   #12
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What is the reason for not doing the whole top?
Saving $100..
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Primer makes everything better...
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:37 PM   #13
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I think some jel stain can make it look pretty close, not perfect by any means but passable.

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Old 02-05-2014, 10:52 PM   #14
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Saving $100..

Did anyone else recognize the irony of the requested task they asked (kinda half assed) and the magazine on the desk ?

"American Doers"



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Old 02-05-2014, 11:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Different Strokes View Post
I guess my biggest concern is the area where I'll stop sanding down to bare wood for the new stain to take. I'm hoping that there isn't a huge difference or "line" where the old stain ends and the new stain begins.

Hearing that it's been successfully done before has given me hope though. thank you.
The problem I've always had is the "Halo" where the sanded bare area stops and the finished area begins.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:31 PM   #16
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Is that even real wood or laminate?? Looks like laminate to me.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straight_lines View Post
Saving $100..
I don't understand, it seems like it would be more expensive to do one section and blend in.
They should be saving $100 dollars by refinishing the entire top.
I think you got the estimates turned around.


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Old 02-06-2014, 12:33 AM   #18
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Is that even real wood or laminate?? Looks like laminate to me.
I've that wear pattern with HPL, but the grain isn't usually visible in the worn area.

It's mahogany, I think.

If I absolutely had to do a partial strip and refinish, I'd do a "stripe" from top to bottom in the photo. That way, any halo would run with the grain, not across it. The dark ribbons of the mahogany can be used to your advantage. I'd also use a combination of stain and toner, isolated with shellac to "sneak up" on the finl color.

When we've priced projects along these lines, we either don't give he partial option or price it higher than the full strip and refinish. Sometimes, matching and blending the colors is a snap; other times it's a long drawn-out battle. Price it for the latter and hop for the former.


EDIT: looking at how it's worn, I'd remove the finish from the rest of "the stripe" with a cabinet scraper, my guess is that it would come off relatively easy. After that, a little hand sanding would have it ready to go.

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Old 02-06-2014, 01:23 AM   #19
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I see enough on top to warrant the whole top.

It is interesting that so much wear is on the customers side, They seem to be nervous or anxious. Out of curiosity what is the business?

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Old 02-06-2014, 10:55 AM   #20
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I get where you guys are coming from in terms of passing on the job, or explaining to the customer that the only way to ensure the job will turn out to my standards would be to strip the whole top. Trust me, I'd normally pass on a job like this, there's much faster easier money to be made lol.

two things - If I were to do the entire top…. it's veneer* which means I'd need to use a stripper first, then light sand so I don't blow through to the hdf. They already shot down the idea of a smelly stripper in the bank. (insert joke here)


2nd - These 4 desks are in a M&T Bank….. The construction company that asked me to do this is under the gun and only has so many hours in the bank to get the (4) desks back in shape. (in other words they are trying to save a buck by paying one of their guys for minimal hours to babysit us while we refinish the desks off hours*), which rarely ever happens with shortcuts of this nature)

also, this construction company accounts for about 60% of our annual revenue so here is one of those cases that I will give it a try to do what the bank, and the construction company is asking that I try and do.

I think in the end, I was just hoping for the what your first attempt would be to make this thing look good barring stripping the entire top. I appreciate the posts above! I think I'll try sanding just the bad spots on each desk, stain, and then add a little of the new stain to the poly before I coat out the entire top. I like the strip Idea and if it were solid wood I'd go that route.
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