Sheesham table


Stacyb
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I have a sheesham kitchen table, bench and chairs.  The table has faded quite a bit and I would like to know what I can do to restore it back to the original color as it no longer matches the bench and chairs?   I asked about it at Ace Hardware but didn't know the type of wood at the time.  A stain & water based polyurethane were recommended.  I've seen waxes recommended elsewhere for sheesham is that preferred over Is polyurethane?  Is the wax protective?  Would it darken the lightened table? 

The table is not as light as the picture looks but is much lighter than the bench nonetheless.

Also going forward how should I care for it?

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That photo is a bit limited, but looks like maybe it was originally finished with a colored wax that has worn off? It doesn't look scratched or gouged, as would be expected for a stain to wear that much. Fading seems unlikely as well, if the bench & chairs have been in the same environment. Or perhaps the original color was just a stain product with no protective top coat.

Anyway, matching the color will be quite difficult. Best bet for color match is to strip and refinish everything. Barring that, I would try blending stains to match the color, and follow with a polyurathane top coat. Use the underside of the table top to test colors. Also, since the original finish is a mystery, either strip the top to bare wood, or seal it with shellac and use gel stain. Shellac will bond to most all finish products, preventing the new stuff from being 'rejected' by the possibly-incompatible old finish.

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12 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

That photo is a bit limited, but looks like maybe it was originally finished with a colored wax that has worn off? It doesn't look scratched or gouged, as would be expected for a stain to wear that much. Fading seems unlikely as well, if the bench & chairs have been in the same environment. Or perhaps the original color was just a stain product with no protective top coat.

Anyway, matching the color will be quite difficult. Best bet for color match is to strip and refinish everything. Barring that, I would try blending stains to match the color, and follow with a polyurathane top coat. Use the underside of the table top to test colors. Also, since the original finish is a mystery, either strip the top to bare wood, or seal it with shellac and use gel stain. Shellac will bond to most all finish products, preventing the new stuff from being 'rejected' by the possibly-incompatible old finish.

Thank you.  Yes, the table was exposed to the sun and the bench was not. The bench is the original color.  

I found something somewhere yesterday that said to keep sheesham wood away from sun and heat due to both causing lightening and/or discoloration.  I was not aware of that previously.  Both have been indoors so the sun came through tinted windows.  The bench did not get any Sun.

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12 hours ago, Chip Sawdust said:

were the benches out of the sun and the table in the sun?

Yes.  The benches were covered with seat cushions and did not get sun on them.  The table was exposed to morning and afternoon Sun through tinted windows for the last 15 years.  Other than the color difference the table is in great shape.

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Taking a look back at your pictures I think the table has become severely sun bleached.  When originally manufactured 15 years ago there was probably a color coat applied to enhance the natural pigmentation of the wood, but it looks like both the applied and natural pigments have bleached--in some areas the wood is almost blond.  

Remedies are compounded by the fact that table and bench surfaces are textured.  While the applied pigments could be replaced (in theory and with a lot of trial and error), replacing the natural pigments would require removing (sanding off) the bleached fibers to expose fresh wood.  So sanding the surfaces flat and loosing the texture.

Even if you simply stripped the top and applied pigmented or dye based stain to match, the stripped surface is going to need some sanding.  

I'm not one of the finishing gurus on this site, so maybe some one else or a professional refinisher has a better idea, but my suggestion is strip bench and board, plane/sand flat and finish natural or with color as you like.

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