I found a beautiful mid-century modern credenza at an estate sale in Aberdeen, NC. It was designed to hold a turn table and a large collection of vinyls stored behind tambour doors. The piece was custom made for the home owner who was the producer of a furniture line in the 1960s. I wish I knew their name, but was not able to find out. It is a great piece for a modern household, because of it’s low profile. This design feature would allow for a flat screen television to be placed above or on it. The credenza was in near perfect condition when I found it. However, the top showed signs of years of use.
Some of the varnish was gumming up in places, so I spoke to an expert at a specialty wood shop and was told the best remedy was denatured alcohol. I used a clean rag to apply it to the top and it did get rid of the gumming issue, but underneath I saw places where the varnish was completely worn down to the veneer. I decided to strip the top lightly with a natural stripping agent made from oranges. I applied the gel and let it sit for 15 minutes which was quite less than the recommended 30 minutes. This was to ensure that I did not strip off too much of the stain. I used a kitchen scrub pad (as opposed to a scraper) soaked in warm water to remove the stripping agent after the 15 minutes. I dried off the top with several clean rags (you’ll want a handful that you can dispose of afterward). After the top dried I noticed there was some color fading in spots. Luckily I had a can of walnut stain, so I tested it by applying it to one of the discolored spots to see if it matched the original color of the credenza. It matched perfectly! I applied one coat of stain to the top and color was restored! After it dried, I coated the top in a water-based polyurethane (either water-based or oil-based will do). I used a soft angled brush to apply it and waited 2 hours or more between coats. I love the finished product! The top looks like new now and can be enjoyed for years to come!