Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Brave Eagle has been Snookered!

I picked up this table from a friend of mine who has several in need of repair.  We pulled out three or four different tables and he told me I could choose.  I picked this one.  I liked the overall look and I could see the nice grain of the oak wood under this dark layer of old varnish.  Varnish can sometimes be removed very easily, so I thought I would take a chance on an easy project.  He threw out a price and I told him that I didn't think it was enough (I try to be fair).  To make it a better deal for him, I agreed to fix another table that he had started and had yet to complete.  I was good with the deal and headed to the shop!

I started the tear down process.  So far so good!

I took the top section and applied a light coat of stripper.  Old varnish will turn sort of slick and can be wiped off with a soft cloth.  I was a little curious when the finish starting bubbling up like paint would do, but I really didn't think too much about it.  I began wiping the stripper away and I could see the beautiful grain of the oak wood starting to shine through.  I was all smiles!  That is until I starting wiping off that second coat of stripper!

This is what I found.  Do you see any grain in this wood??  No you don't!  That's because this is not an oak table.  This table is a fake.  I called my local antique furniture guru and he informed me that people would take regular wood and paint a grain on it to resemble oak furniture.  Oak brought more money, therefore they would sell the table as an oak table when in fact it was some other soft wood underneath.  I asked him if this table could still be an antique and he replied that "cheats and con-artist lived back then too!"

So what will I do?  I can still refinish this table and stain it a dark color and hopefully make it look nice enough to sell, but I will not get what I would have had it been an oak piece.

Lesson learned!  Let's go find another one!


The Gang said...

Intriguing story. I'm sure someone will be interested in that piece. Could you put a piece of laminate on the top to make it look real, since it was a fake in the first place?

Trey said...


Yes you could but the problem lies in the fact that you could not match the legs to the shelves. I am curious to see if the legs are indeed fake. I just haven't got that far yet.

Downeast Duck Hunter said...

That sucks bro...

Gorges Smythe said...

The interior doors in the farmhouse that I was raised in were done that way. If we hadn't have been sawmill folks, we might not have spotted it. They were done very well!