Tommy Mac Discussions › Forums › Fix-it Forum: Home Improvement & Do It Yourself Repair Forum › Antique Furniture Refinishing – question › Refinishing basics
Marlene, there is a lot of refinishing basic info at http://wickswww.freeyellow.com/refinish.html.
Unless your table really is 100 years old, I would not worry too much about trying to preserve the current finish. A couple of exceptions to this are if a close exam shows that the paint is there to hide other defects, like missing veneer, or a check of the back edges shows that the painted areas are plywood or something similar. It could be a little difficult to blend the plywood finish color to the rest of the piece if it’s really mahogany. Be aware too, that modern furniture can have finishes that really sort of look like wood but are strictly achieved by what really is faux finishing on a commercial scale. Knowing where you are really starting from is critical to determining where you can finish.
Henry in MI