Kevin has resued an interesting old table from the slow death of polyurethane
I would start with some stain.
given the difference in colour, you could use some georgian mid oak colour
(color,Paddy) to get to a sensible background. In the UK, I like the colron
range, which may no longer be made, as it’s good and smelly, so probably bad for
you. You’ll need to use a brush, to get it into the edges without marking the
That particular stain gets to the colour, and won’t go darker with more
applications, it’s mixeable with others in its range, so you can do your own
colour match. There will be similar ones in the USA. Don’t use a spirit based
Right, you’ve stained the bare wood. I’d give a coat of 1lb blonde shellac to
seal it. depending on how close thw colour is, my usual recourse is to Van Dyke
stain next. It’s water based, so you can wash it off and ty again, and again,
or, you can apply some more. If you water it down, it’s lighter. If you
recoat, it gets darker, until it won’t go any further. You can seal it with a
shellac coat to ‘freeze’ at any stage. maybe whilst you dabble on the last coat,
which you may want to remove a bit of to give some patina.
Having mentioned patina, you might want to provide a bit of light wear and
damage - a couple of scratches that a thin Van Dyke colour back to look a
hundred years old. Be subtle with that sort of thing, and think about how such
a thing could occur.
The final finish would be a couple of full strength blonde shellac coats.
You may be right about the garnett. If you use it, still begin with a stain -
if you chip shellac, it will expose white wood, and you’ll need to repair it.
If you chip a shellc over stain, it goes back to the stain.
Of course, all the above is worth what you paid for it, but theres maybe
something that would help.