How to revive a worn finish
Fix 2: Next option: re-rub
If cleaning and waxing don't do the trick, you may need to rub out the finish -- a polishing technique. That's only if the existing finish is thick enough, though, because you'll remove some finish during this process. How do you know if it's thick enough? If no scratches penetrate to bare wood, that's a good sign you have enough finish to work with.
Rubbing out an existing finish works much like the final stages of rubbing out a new finish. First, make a polishing pad by attaching a white, non-woven cleaning pad to a sanding disc using adhesive strips. (See Sources, on slide 6.) Spread a small amount of polishing compound (Sources, on slide 6) on the surface, and polish the finish with the polishing pad and a random-orbit sander using slow, overlapping passes, shown in photo right. Work slowly and stop when it reaches an even sheen. Then apply a coat of paste wax.
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