It's a 1952 RCA Victor stereo. I thought at first that it would make a great bar (still think it would make a great bar), until I got it home and my husband wired it up. The tubes and speaker still work, but the radio and turntable need some help. It's for sale, so I thought I would just refinish it and let the buyer decide whether or not to fix the stereo, put some of their own electronics in it, or take everything out and use it as a bar.
My original plan was to remove the doors, and just refinish the outside of the cabinet. As you can see the wood was in pretty bad condition. So out came the stripper, and the project began. I used a 3M non-toxic stripper that works pretty well, but I found getting the residue off can be a pain. I got off as much as I could with the putty knife, then used paint thinner to clean more off, then sanded - a lot! I used Minwax red mahogany stain and finished it with a couple of coats of their wipe on poly. I loved the color, but now the doors looked dull. My husband thought he could shine them up, so I let him go for it. First he tried Howard's Restore a Finish in walnut, then put Howard's Feed-N-Wax over that. It covered some of the scratches but still looked dull. Then I tried some paste wax over that, nope that didn't do it either. Then my husband rubbed baby oil all over everything. Now we just had a dull, oily mess! We finally figured the finish had clouded over the years and it would just have to be redone. We both thought that the doors were a burled veneer, and that they could be stripped and refinished. WRONG! I taped off the RCA sticker on the inside and got to work with the stripper. After letting it sit for 11/2 hours it was ready to putty off. I almost cried after the first swipe. The beautiful burl finish was faux and came right off. Does anyone know how they made it look like this? Well, in for a penny in for a pound. So, many sheets of sandpaper later, more stain and poly and here it is.
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