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Advice on stripping and refinishing a Bernhard Pedersen credenza

- 26 Jan 2018 -
11 posts / 0 new

Hi there, I am fairly new to the forum though I have posted a few times before and am a regular reader.

So in a moment of madness I decided to take on a large and crazy project - stripping and refinishing a Bernhard Pedersen teak credenza that some monster have decided to paint white.

While I have stripped and refinished many teak chairs before I have never tackled a credenza. Beyond the time and effort it is going to take there are two major problems.

1. The teak seems be primarily veneer

2. Its got tambour doors

So, questions:

What is best product to use to do the initial paint stripping? Also what tips or techniques do people use.

What the best way to approach the sanding/cleaning of the teak? 220 sandpaper or a fine grade steel wool?

Its probably a crazy task and I am sure it wont turn out perfectly but I am gonna give it a shot so all advice welcome!!

Advice on stripping and refinishing a Bernhard Pedersen credenza
1960 - 1969


- 26 Jan 2018

I would pay a professional to do that.

- 26 Jan 2018

But you should first identify what kind of paint it is. There are some strippers, like Peel Away, or whatever it is, that may work better. Likely, it will not be a clean job. Your best hope is that the original finish lifts off under it when possible... a heavy-bodied chemical stripper left on long enough to work its magic may do the trick. You will want to figure out a way to get the tambours out, which may prove difficult, depending on how the handles are attached.

- 26 Jan 2018

I think the major problem here is the veneer. Usually to remove paint mixed with stripper you might use a metal spatula, which has high probability of damaging the veneer. For the same reason any sending will be quite dangerous. I would start from the sides, on a corner, and get a feeling of how tough the paint is. Pray it's a single layer.

As you say, someone insane did paint it white. If it was not like that, you would not have got it, I guess. Trade off.


PS: on a general effort to post threads in the right sections of this forum, next time you have such question please use the "repair section".

- 28 Jan 2018

I am glad I have not had to deal with getting paint off a tambour, yet. It does not mean that you shouldn't give it a go, and it also doesn't mean it will be hard as I have no experience of this particular job. It might be as simple as finding the correct stripper and using some wire wool. It's just the bit I find scariest!

- 28 Jan 2018

Aren't tambours glued to a heavy fabric backing? I'd be worried that even a thick paste stripper would seep between the slats and start to dissolve the glue.

There's also the heat gun. But those are tricky in that they can overheat and burn the wood pretty quickly.

- 02 Feb 2018

Thanks for the advice all. I did a test section using Klean Strip and it worked beautifully. Applied heavily, in three coats, until the paint really bubbled up. Then I scrapped off with a hard plastic scrapper, followed by a strong plastic bristle brush to clean out the grain. The section cleaned off spotlessly so I think the approach is gonna be slow and steady but I feel like it will turn out well. The tambour will still be a challenge...

- 02 Feb 2018

Cool. It's always good to hear when such a project turns out well. Post a picture when you're done!

- 02 Feb 2018

Correction: post in-progress pictures of the process, then post pictures when you're done.

- 02 Feb 2018

Hello all. This is a duplicate post that's been edited. There is nothing to read here. Don't look here. Warning.


Don't forget to feed the birds. They are watching you.

and "Coyboy Dogshit and the Fried Pickles" are playing down at the VFW tonight. Come on down.

- 02 Feb 2018


After pictures would be delightful!


Aunt Mark

ps consider refinishing the tambour doors in black ( or india ink?). I would. hi.

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