Asked on Aug 21, 2015

Refinishing an old wooden salad bowl set

by Terri
I have a very good salad bowl set from the 70's that is scratched and peeling but its otherwise intact that I want to restore to a new finish - please help!
  5 answers
  • Jillian Seymour Jillian Seymour on Aug 22, 2015
    Could you give us a picture? We don't know what finish it had on it before, is it painted, coloured or decorated in any way. Are you going to put food in it again? I'd guess it once looked like this picture without a painted decoration and no varnish. In which case get some 100 -200 grade sandpaper sheets with cloth backing, within these grades with a thin or medium backing so it flexes well. Get some superfine steel wool as well. Starting with the 100 grade roughest sandpaper work over the surface and inside to smooth the rough working through the grades until you finish with the finest paper. Give it a go over with the fine steelwool and some vegetable oil and allow the oil to soak in all over. When it is smooth set the bowl in a warm spot like a window to allow the oil to dry which can take a few days. If it looks patchy do another oil layer and let that dry. If your bowl was varnished then do the sanding and then apply a polyurethane varnish, giving it a few goodcoats to seal it. Then let it dry completely and a few more daysincluded. Then wash it really well with hot water and detergent until it no longer smells.
  • KKAbsherwrites KKAbsherwrites on Aug 22, 2015
    Mineral oil or the oil used to seal butcher block (food safe) are what keep the sets from cracking and peeling.
  • Alton Alton on Aug 22, 2015
    I get my oil from Bed, Bath and Beyond .
  • Green Cleaning Coach Green Cleaning Coach on Aug 22, 2015
    I'd use olive oil to start.
  • Gini Gini on Oct 03, 2015
    I have a lovely set that I got in Honduras years ago and want to refinish the individual salad bowls. Thanks so much Jillian was your description of how to actually do it. Mine has a coat of varnish on it, so will get busy and do your step by step instructions. Thanks.