The Wood Whisperer

If I’d known this was going to be a styleNorth post I would have taken better “before” pics. Honestly, the table was a mess before I took it to Emanuel Calleja at Old Fashioned Restoration (3068 Dundas St. West, 416-767-6989). It’s a long and not very interesting story as to how I came to be the guardian of this particular demilune, suffice it to say that I felt responsible for the state it wound up in and wanted to do right by the piece before I returned it to its owner.

The white marks, above left, are mostly heat damage with some additional water damage; the finish had dulled with age and neglect. I’m not experienced enough to tackle a project like this: Emanuel says he lightly sanded the finish then used Methyl alcohol to chase away the white marks. He topped it off with several coats of French polish and Voila!, the table is gleaming again, better than new.

Emanuel charges around $250 to do a job like this so if you’ve got a good piece that needs some TLC, I highly recommend this refinishing genius, he truly is Toronto’s Wood Whisperer.

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Friday, May 3, 2013 by Chris
This post was written by - who has written 865 posts on styleNorth.

6 Comments For This Post

  1. gayle Says:

    Good evening CHRIS, nice to *see* you. Beautiful table and amazing
    job…Gayle of that is talent

  2. Eya Donald Greenland Kotulsky Says:

    Thanks for this – I needed a referral badly to a good restoration person for my piano cabinet, so I appreciate your recommendation. If you ever want a “quick and dirty” way to remove white marks like this on a piece of furniture but don’t feel it merits a professional job, put a really flat fine-weave tea towel over the white area, and iron it with a fairly hot iron on steam setting. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it works. And you can repeat the process afterwards for even better results.

  3. FranklyDiscreet Says:

    Eya is right — the heat from the iron dries out and removes the moisture in the finish, which is what is causing the white marks. The moisture gets wicked away and absorbed into the towel. It really works!!

  4. Chris Says:

    Thank you Eya and FranklyDiscreet. I have, in fact, used the iron trick which I blogged about here:
    But as you may know the heat can also damage the finish and that’s a risk I wasn’t prepared to take with this particular table.

  5. Liza Vandermeer Says:

    Lovely table, beautiful job on bringing it back to its rightful condition. Always worth promoting someone like Emanuel, who can work this kind of magic.

  6. Eya Donald Greenland Kotulsky Says:

    This was an awesome evening here at Atelier Ivaan, because Emanuel Calleja of Old Fashioned Restoration delivered and reinstalled the newly restored music desk and cover for my mahogany Chickering 1905 cabinet grand piano. It was a lot of work but it was definitely worth the investment. To say I am thrilled is a gross understatement. Thank you so much, Chris, for bringing Emanuel to my attention. I am in your debt!

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