I’ve heard about Howard Restor-A-Finish but never actually used it until this past weekend when I helped my friend Ingrid breathe some new life into a couple of tired antiques. The product isn’t widely available in Canada but Toronto’s Queen West Antique Centre (1605 Queen Street West, 416.588.2212) stocks the full range of shades from light pine-maple to dark oak and ebony.
Howard’s slogan is “Restore it, Don’t Strip it!” and I have to say I was very impressed with the product, up to a point. The rub-on, wipe-off liquid was fantastically good at hiding minor dings and scratches and even removed old paint smudges (above) with the help of some super-fine steel wool. Howard claims to remove heat and water marks but that depends on the severity of the damage to the finish. Ingrid’s dressing table, below, was too far gone, even for Howard. The nasty water mark was improved, no question, but stripping was really the only solution in this case.
Ingrid’s wounded kitchen table, below, perked up greatly although again, the damage was beyond Howard’s power to heal.
In the end, I’d say Howard does a pretty terrific job and for $11 CAD, it’s definitely worth it. He not only hid light blemishes but he renewed the overall look of both pieces. I would definitely use the product again.