Maple Dining Room Furniture Needs Help

Barb McWethy
by Barb McWethy
I have a dining room set, solid maple, that is probably 100 years old. It needs some TLC. Some people say paint it, some say refinish it. I'm not sure which would be a better idea. There is a table with pull out end leaves, a corner cupboard and a small buffet. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
maple dining room furniture needs help
  10 answers
  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Feb 02, 2015
    I happen to love the lines of this piece, especially the rounded pulls. I painted a bedroom dresser with mirror of this era and it turned out great. I paint with chalk paint and used a hand waxed finish - Google chalk paint as there is a ton of information out there. I typically like a two-tone look leaving some of the wood unpainted and painting the rest. Be BRAVE you can do this!
  • Dolores Dolores on Feb 02, 2015
    if this is cushman, it is hand stained and waxed. mineral oil, warmed. It of WW 2 era.
    • Barb McWethy Barb McWethy on Feb 02, 2015
      I just looked and there is a medallion in the drawer that reads "A Genuine Cushman Colonial Creation Made in Bennington VT". I'm guessing I might not want to paint it?
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Feb 02, 2015
    @barb McWethy You should consider the look you want in your finished room - do you want a wood look or something more modern created with colour and paint. As mentioned above you could do a combination. For the table you might consider doing a combination - keep the wood for the table top and paint the rest. I happen to be partial to keeping some of the wood look, usually on the flat surfaces. If this is what you choose you may want to refinish the wood prior to painting. Have a look around this site - search refinishing furniture. Look to see what strikes your fancy. Do update us with pics - love to see them. Good luck and thanks for posting.
  • Al Al on Feb 02, 2015
    1. what don't you like about it? Since its 100 years old I'd leave it. Refinishing is more work and messier, painting is easier. Have you had it appraised?
    • Barb McWethy Barb McWethy on Feb 02, 2015
      No I haven't. It has lots of wear and some spots where finish is damaged. It's not that I don't like it it just needs to be spruced up.
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Feb 02, 2015
    Hi Barb- I googled the Cushman medallion that you posted and here is the result on Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/bhp/cushman-furniture Looks like there is some value to your pieces. But we are talking hundreds, not thousands of dollars. So the true value is what it means to you. If you want to just refresh the finish, then try some Lemon Oil Scratch cover, you just wipe it on, let sit, then wipe it off. It covers up all the imperfections and leaves a nice shine. But if you really want to change the entire look, then you need to think about restaining or painting. Perhaps if you chose one piece to paint, like that small buffet and started with that, it might give you a better idea of what you are looking for as an overall effect in your dining room. Sometimes if you leave the top alone, but paint the base, it can give you an entirely new palette without sacrificing the wood look.
  • Al Al on Feb 02, 2015
    Give it a good cleaning with Murphys Soap. If you are determined to spruce it up try Formsby refinisher. Its a more gradual process 9so you can stop when it looks good to you) than stripper also not as messy.
  • Dolores Dolores on Feb 02, 2015
    You can probably take a drawer to a paint and stain dealer and have him mix up a stain to match. Try on a hidden place and then wax it good. Hard to find a spot as even the drawers are finished stain. During the war they stopped making the furniture and made the maple into rifle butts. It didn't re emerge until later. Very few screws are used. Dove tailed and pegged.
  • Dolores Dolores on Feb 02, 2015
    You can probably take a drawer to a paint and stain dealer and have him mix up a stain to match. Try on a hidden place and then wax it good. Hard to find a spot as even the drawers are finished stain. During the war they stopped making the furniture and made the maple into rifle butts. It didn't re emerge until later. Very few screws are used. Dove tailed and pegged. Try the drawer pull. it looks like my sister's hutch.
  • Laurie Mince Laurie Mince on Feb 03, 2015
    I like painted furniture but I would not paint this set. I would try to restore it.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 03, 2015
    These are treasures with beautiful patina. Absolutely do not paint! Don't strip - just touch up. You could think about replacing the knobs - but keep the originals.