furniture refinishing

I have a buffet that is very old and worn (but from family) that I would like to refinish somehow. Would I sand it first? I have seen so many projects here that have caught my eye and I would like to try it but am intimidated. Any tips, suggestions or encouragement would really be a blessing. Thanks!
If I don't replace the hardware-how do I clean or polish it?
The entire front edge is rough and shredded looking like this.

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3 of 35 comments
  • Bernice H
    on Nov 20, 2012

    @Dee W Boy do I know that song!! Well someday, it will get done. You will have a burst of energy and tada!

  • Starbright57
    on Dec 6, 2014

    It looks to me to be a piece of "limed oak" of the 50s. My aunt had a bedroom set. It didn't seem to be real wood, although I think some of the more expensive limed oak was real wood with a finish directly of the wood. I think you would lightly sand it first to rough it up and put on a primer of some sort and then any kind enamel type paint over that then maybe a polyeurthane coat over that to protect it even more. You may have to paint the hardware or look for some new at Menards, Lowes, etc. they have some good reproductions of old hardware.

    • Bobbie
      on Feb 9, 2016

      Hi, good advice here, but I have learned the hard way that you don't want to use a poly coating over enamel. The enamel has everything the piece needs for a finish coat.

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