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set of Jalk tables in need of love.

- 05 Dec 2012 -
31 posts / 0 new

OK - So between two different places I have acquired a matching set of two Grete Jalk end tables with the long coffee table as well. Problem is... only one of them is totally perfect. One of the end tables and the coffee table had water damage to the tops and the previous owner painted the tops white. He had told me it was pretty serious and I'm a little intimated about what may lie beneath. That being said, I really really want to see them restored to their beautiful teak selves.

Does anyone have an experience refinishing or extensive knowledge about these tables? Are they solid teak or veneer? Is it possible for to have the top veneer replaced (and what would be a really rough cost for that)?

Any info helps. Thanks!

P.S. They aren't marked, but they are of the upturned lip type produced by Glostrup I believe. My set is the same as the ones pictured below.


- 05 Dec 2012

refinished one of em

I have had luck w/ the bar keeps friend cleaner available all over the place. It has an acid in it (someone will remind me exactly what) that is quite effective on black water marks.

Some stains, however, are permanent.

- 05 Dec 2012

The side tables,
are solid teak. The coffee table has a veneered top.

I imagine the first step it to remove the paint off the top and see what you're dealing with.

Waffle, after you refinished your table, did you apply any wax? I have the side table and it lost a fair bit of its lovely sheen after I sanded and oiled it...for some reason I'm hesitant to apply any waxes...

- 05 Dec 2012

Oxalic acid.
You can buy the crystals in any good paint store. It can be effective on blue/black stains resulting from the reaction between iron, water, and the natural tannins in wood. Something like India ink, though, is permanent.

Solange, what's the worry about applying wax? I almost always recommend it.

- 05 Dec 2012

removing the paint
What would be recommended to remove the paint? I have removed finish from a lot of furniture using CitriStrip.

Waffle - What was the process you used to refinish them. With teak I have only really wiped pieces down with Danish oil.

Thanks for the help!

- 05 Dec 2012

that's it. The bar keeps friend has that. It's rather nice to have it already suspended in a paste form.

Yes, what I refinished was a coffee table.

- 05 Dec 2012

I have used an orbital sander and the finest sand paper followed by steel wool (finest). If you can just get away w/ only using steel wool that is preferred. Veneer is a $#(@## to work with, of course, but when care is taken almost always comes out ok.

- 05 Dec 2012

For matching the finish
I'm getting very excited about the prospects for my tables. Anything is better than the white paint, even if some of the damage remains.

After removing the paint and using the oxalic acid process what should I used for the finish? I really would like to get it as close as possible. Would rubbing it down with teak oil a couple of times and applying Howards Feed-N-Wax get me there?

- 06 Dec 2012

You won't know if
treating any stains is necessary until the pieces are stripped. I like the old tried-and-true nasty methylene chloride-based strippers, but there are alternatives such as citrus-based that are popular.

I don't know with what the tables were originally finished, but any of the "Danish" oil finishes should do the trick.

- 06 Dec 2012

I'm a big fan of the...
I'm a big fan of the Howard's products: Restore-a-Finish then Feed-N-Wax if you are reconditioning an older oil finish, or just plain Feed-N-Wax if the wood is unfinished or sanded bare.

While the experienced woodworkers on this board might prefer to mix their own oil/wax brews, I have not yet found any downside to the prepared Feed-N-Wax (besides the goofy-sounding name). As a bonus, I find the orange oil aroma much more pleasing to work with versus the "Danish Teak Oil" or boiled linseed oil chemical smells of other products. The orange aroma dissipates after a day or two.

I've used Feed-N-Wax on oak, teak, rosewood, and mutenye with all good results.

- 06 Dec 2012

I'm not entirely certain why I'm so reluctant...perhaps I've been misinformed about "wax build up", or maybe I'm confusing wax with varnish as being a no-no for teak.

I would like to add a little mellow sheen and a little protection to the surface.

My one attempt at doing so involved using pure tung oil (with no drying agents), leaving 2 or 3 days drying time between coats and superfine sanding in between on a teak desk top. 4 coats and almost 2 weeks later and I ended up with a gummy mess I had to sand off.

I will most certainly investigate a good paste wax...I'm tired of my coasters needing coasters...

cdsilva: I too, am a fan of Howard's products. Not convinced they are the best quality, but facility of use, what appears to be a good result, and orange scent are a bonus.

- 06 Dec 2012

cd, I'm not familiar with the Howard's products,
but I'm a firm believer in sticking with what you know works for you. I was trained as a painter back when they still taught traditional techniques and formulas. For me, there will always be something completely seductive in the combined aromas of stand oil, turpentine, and damar. If Van Gogh did indeed eat his paint, I can understand why.

Solange, when I first started out in museums, I was told by conservators that regular waxing of furniture is the easiest and best first-line preservative treatment possible. Yes, it can build up if it is improperly mixed or applied, but it is also simple to remove and most of the commercially available paste waxes are of good quality now. Cheesecloth makes a good applicator and horsehair shoe brushes buff into corners and carving where buildup can often occur, and an annual waxing is a good way to catch any damage or loose joints that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. The best part, though, is that wood furniture just looks and feels better when waxed.

- 06 Dec 2012

truly tktoo,
thank you....

To the OP: best of luck with your pretty tables. Please post a photo after you've stripped the paint, so we can see what was hiding underneath...

- 08 Dec 2012

Some bad news.
So I've stripped the tops of the Jalk tables. On the end table there is an area where the veneer was sanded through to the plywood backing. On the coffee table there are areas of missing veneer on two of the corners.

I'm thinking of maybe some temporary fixes and looking at getting the veneer replaced eventually. What's the next step for these two?

- 08 Dec 2012

Put the paint back on
Put the paint back on

- 08 Dec 2012

DHutch 17,
Sorry to hear that...Are you certain the end table is by Grete Jalk? It should be solid wood, not veneered, and therefore easier to refinish.

Your photos are not working, try posting them again.

- 08 Dec 2012

Solange - they are for sure Grete Jalk. The upturned lips and legs are solid, but the tops are veneered.

Hopefully the pictures work this time. Whatever I do to them next, it for sure will not be paint :)

- 08 Dec 2012

Ouch! the worn through veneer is going to be very tricky to deal with, perhaps staining black is one of very few viable options.

Great tips Mark, although how long does a drinking glass remain in one place in your household, I should imagine it would spend too much time in your hand to be of any use as a decoy.

- 08 Dec 2012

Interesting DHutch17,
and a little disappointing. I thought the end tables were solid teak. My table is not perfectly bookmatched and the ends are exposed, so if it's been veneered to plywood they did an excellent job of concealing it, as I recall seeing no obvious sign. Mine has the Glostrup label and looks just like yours...darn...your photo is convincing testimony that it is not solid teak.I will look at mine again next time I'm at my country house.

I guess I should consider myself lucky I didn't damage it as I went to town sanding, believing it to be solid.

Mark's suggestion is a good one, and would no doubt look very attractive, but I suspect you wouldn't be entirely happy with it that way, and what's that saying..Once you go black, you can't go back?

- 08 Dec 2012

Ebonised tops
with teak legs would be my way forward I think!

Hello Mark x)

- 08 Dec 2012

When we say stain black...
When we say staining black, are we talking ebonizing?

Mark - I like the suggestion of black. That would cover the damage best I think. I love the warm red tones of the teak though... hmmmm. Has anyone ever had teak veneer replaced and know what that might run me?

Thank you all for the help!

- 08 Dec 2012

Holiday hugs, canned hams, and highballs to you Robert!

- 09 Dec 2012

You could try re-veneering yourself.

How to:

What with:

The lip on the edge of the table will be tricky to do. You could run the veneer all the way up the lip, and trim it there. Or you could run it part way up and then sand the edge of the veneer down to nothing. There will be a seam where the solid lip meets the veneered top, and you could preserve this seam by cutting the veneer and applying another piece over the lip. Or not worry about it.

I have also seen sanded through veneer that has been painted with faux-grain that was virtually impossible to see.

Sorry to see they are so damaged under the paint!

- 14 Dec 2012

From the underside of the...
From the underside of the table with a very sturdy razor kinfe, working along the seam seperate the solid edges free of the table top. They are usually just glued on. A heat gun makes this a little bit easier. You can then sand the old veneer off (think power sander) down to the substrate, reveneer and reapply the edgeing.

- 14 Dec 2012

for a newbie
Can I realistically reveneer these tables myself? I am not terribly skilled when it comes to woodworking, but usually read up and give it a go... how else would I even learn, right?

I guess I can do anything worse to them. I like the idea of ebonizing the tops as well but I still have one end table that is completely flawless that I would not touch, and thus it would not match.

- 14 Dec 2012

give it to a local woodworker
don't go mental on it yourself, these pieces
are to nice for a home project.
(in my opinion)

- 15 Dec 2012

Newbies doing veneer?
I know people who have never veneered a thing in their lives, and I would bet heavily on their ability to re-veneer those tables.

So can a "newbie" do it? answer: it depends on the newbie.

The line where the lip is attached: is it straight? (it looks like it, but photos are tricky). If so, it could be cut off with a table saw and the table would loose only 1/4 inch in the end. I can't imagine trying to pry that off.

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