Asked on May 17, 2017

What do you suggest doing to old and dingy walnut woodwork? See below

Susan Axsom CurtisGailC. D. Scallan


I live in a home that is more than a hundred years old. It has beautiful walnut woodwork. Before I lived in it the previous owner's teens stayed in the home with a steady stream of friends. To spruce the house before selling it the woodwork on the steps especially but other places as well was sealed with a varnish. The problem is the woodwork was not cleaned or dusted first so the woodwork has built in dirt and even when clean looks disreputable. It has been suggested that I stain, in an antiquing fashion, over the varnish to make the stairway and other places look good again. What is your suggestion?
5 answers
  • Bobbie
    on May 17, 2017

    I think the only way to make that beautiful again is to sand/strip it and redo those nasty areas. When done properly it can become a source of pride again.
  • Gail
    on May 17, 2017

    You can't stain over varnish. To get into cracks and corners I suggest stripper. After doing a once over with that then varnish or polyurethane it. I don't k know if you'd want to stain it or leave it au naturale.

  • C. D. Scallan
    on May 17, 2017

    Strip it, sand it, then decide if you want to stain or varnish it.
  • Gail
    on May 18, 2017

    Strip, polyurethane.
  • Susan Axsom Curtis
    on May 21, 2017

    you will have to strip off the varnish. You will most likely have to strip all the trim so that no matter what you do to it it all looks the same.

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