How to refinish hubby's plant stand

Hubby has had this old plant stand forever and with watering the African violets, the stand has become almost bare wood. How and what do I use to restore it to its original beauty?
top shelf is cracking also and warping
2nd shelf, not so bad but.....
Bottom shelf, this side is bad other side a lot better.
He has over 60 plants and babies so it gets used a lot.
  13 answers
  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on Jul 01, 2015
    I would sand it, strip the old finish and reapply something like MinWax to it and finish with a good polyurethane coat to protect, in the future, from water. In fact, two or three coats of poly might be needed.
  • LIZ LIZ on Jul 01, 2015
    It looks like it is going to have to be hand sanded due to the design. This will be great exercise for arms. If you like the color take a photo first and have the hardware match that color, otherwise Bonny's idea will be best. It is going to look gorgeous. Always seal it with polyurethane as Bonny mentioned. That's one beautiful plant stand!
  • Shirley Kalinosky Shirley Kalinosky on Jul 01, 2015
    Thanks great ideas.
  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on Jul 02, 2015
    If you have a small palm sander, you can do the flat surfaces and some of the trim and uprights with that and then finish with hand sanding. Don't buy any stripper until you sand as you might be able to sand all of it off. Then choose the Minwax color that is close to what the original was or you could go with another color, if you desire. It doesn't look like a valuable antique but if it is a family heirloom you might want to keep it close to original. I just noticed the water damage on the top shelf and it looks like veneer so you might have trouble with that. If so, repost and we will see if anyone knows how to deal with that.
  • The Redesign Habit The Redesign Habit on Jul 02, 2015
    I agree with the sanding and poly. Two or three coats for good water protection. If you use a sander make sure to not go to close to your edges or you could damage them pretty easily. Hand sanding may be all it takes! Love the piece!
  • Claire Claire on Jul 02, 2015
    What a beautiful piece! 3 coats of poly after a nice sanding and final with 000 steel wool and it'll be as fine as ever! Please post a "finished" picture.
  • Wendy G. Whitcomb Wendy G. Whitcomb on Jul 02, 2015
    I agree,hand sanding or machine sanding but hand sand the edges,then either paint with outside stain (at least 2 coats)& let cure then maybe poly coat it.
  • Rose Marie Rose Marie on Jul 02, 2015
    Set Mosaic tile ( broken) in grout & then epoxy over.
  • Iberkeley Iberkeley on Jul 02, 2015
    It's just starting to look good...............
  • Anne Alexander Anne Alexander on Jul 02, 2015
    I was going to suggest Marine Sealer... but think you would want to do some practicing on a separate piece of work...of course sand the table if you are going to put a finish on it... oh, and I want to comment on your do you get them to bloom so beautiful???
    • Shirley Kalinosky Shirley Kalinosky on Jul 04, 2015
      @Anne Alexander My hubby has a green thumb up to his shoulder. lol We have them in a south-western window and they get a lot of light. He only waters them a little bit every few days. If when he puts his finger in and it's dry, they get water. Most of these pictured are babies he has propagated from leaves of mother plants. Just put them in some water until they sprout roots and plant them in the African violet soil and depending on lots of things, they will grow. We also keep a light on at night so they get a lot of light whether sun or bulb.
  • Clematis Clematis on Jul 03, 2015
    I read somewhere that for wood which has been exposed to the elements you can wet a few tea bags and paint the tea over the wood so that it brings out it's natural handsomeness to the fore once again. Then once it has dried you can use a wood sealer and a varnish. I suggest that you 1st sand it to remove the old finish - remember to sand in the direction of the grain and not across it. Technology is so good these days that you only need to ask you hardware store for advice as to what finish you should use. Good luck
  • Joanna Smith Joanna Smith on Aug 02, 2015
    Sand first, then paint the bottom two shelves black and glue gold chain around the outside edges. On the top shelf, paint the face of a gold pocket watch, then coat it all with poly.
  • Shirley Kalinosky Shirley Kalinosky on Aug 21, 2015
    I was asked if this is resolved. I thought it was but haven't had time to do any of the Technics we have talked about. I will keep it at unresolved until I refinish it. Thanks for your input.