How to revive a worn finish
Fix 3: Add fresh topcoats
Badly scratched and dented wood can't be repaired without sanding down to bare wood. But in lightly scratched wood, you can achieve a finish that looks aged, rather than abused, by adding topcoats and then sanding those down for an even sheen and smoother surface. Use satin or semi-gloss topcoats on less-than-flawless surfaces. A high-gloss finish requires more polishing, and that gloss highlights surface flaws.
Begin with a thorough cleaning with waterless soap followed by mineral spirits to remove grime, wax, and furniture polish, which can produce fish-eye in the new topcoats, shown in photo right. Then hand-sand the surface to 320 grit to prepare it for the new coats.
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