I am trying to clean up a cherry dinning room table made in the 1950s. It had been stored for several years in a wet basement and before that had sat for fifteen years with one drop leaf down, in front of a South facing window. The results of this is fading of the one drop leaf and the edging separated at either end. It also had some mold underneath. So far I have cleaned the entire piece with a light (3%) mixture of bleach and water. Then cleaned the entire piece with mineral spirits and 000 steel wool. I let it dry for a couple of weeks and then glued the end cap back on. I am not sure now what to do to restore the finish, which I assume is lacquer,
I would like to even out the color a little (there are a couple of scratches and water marks as well as the fading) with some gel stain rubbed on then quickly rubbed off. Then rub some tung oil coats on and finish it with some wax but I have never done that over lacquer.
Edited 3/17/2008 8:30 pm ET by jshannonb