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March 23, 2017

Refinishing and Restoring A Vintage 1940s Heywood Wakefield Extension Dining Room Table – Thursday Retro Rewind

Continuing on with re-posting my Heywood Wakefield refinishing series…….we are refinishing a Heywood Wakefield Extension Dining Room Table this week! Whooooo-weeeee, this table was in BAD shape…….and I really do mean bad! I spotted it at the thrift store for $15 and really was debating purchasing it as we did not need a dining room table…but Mom was there and she quickly piped in that she would love a smaller table like this for the kitchen in her time capsule condo….would I mind refinishing it for her??? Of course we bought the table and I happily refinished it for her…and  Mike performed some much needed repairs on the table…in the end it turned out great and was just the right size for her kitchen!

By Sara In AZ

Sooooooo, last week I showed everyone the Heywood Wakefield dining room table that I picked up at the thrift store for $15…………


…………..Mom knew it would fit in perfectly in her time capsule condo kitchen. She already had a kitchen table, but it kind of overwhelmed the space…..this table really was the *perfect* size.

I found a picture of Mom’s new/old table in my Heywood Wakefield book – looks like it is a C3950G from the early 1940s! Wow!


Let me tell you, this table had seen better days….WAY better days!!!! I know it looks OK-ish from the above picture, but trust me the finish was shot and way, way scratched and I am guessing someone had been sitting in the middle of the table…..as there was a definite slant inward from both ends thus making it hard to pull the table apart and put the extension in.

Here are some “before” shots detailing the destruction.

In addition, someone had tried to re-varnish the top at one point so there were all these horrible drips all over the edges of the table. uggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.



Here is the original “Champagne” stain mark on the bottom of the table.

OK, so here we have the table mostly disassembled and are ready to start sanding.

Here is a nice shot for y’all – one side perfectly sanded and one side still to go!

Should I just leave it this way???? hee!!!!!

You can really see how scratched up the table was on the side that still has the old finish.

I cannot stress enough that you must remove ALL of the old finish when you are refinishing a piece of furniture….I wanted to take this picture as an example. You can see toward the top of the pic how white and clean the wood looks and where my sander is you can see a brown-ish haze – the brown haze is the old finish that has seeped into the top grain of the wood. You must sand all of that out and get the wood to look as clean as possible otherwise when you go to apply your new stain the color and finish will be greatly compromised.

Now we are onto the staining.

If you would like to see an in-depth look at my staining process please see the post Refinishing Our Heywood Wakefield M328 Desk Bookcase…….The Definitive Post on Refinishing! – that post will give you all the in’s and out’s of my refinishing process.

I always use the same Wheat ‘Heywood’ stain I get off of a seller on E-Bay. There is a seller on there, needful useful things, who mixes stain to match Champagne and Wheat finishes of Heywood Wakefield blonde furniture. It is a stain and topcoat all in one so you do not have to worry about a lot of steps. I have always had really good luck with his stains, and he will mix custom colors for you if you need that as well. Here is a link to his E-Bay store needful_useful_things . He is a really great seller who is super nice to deal with and is really customer service orientated as well! Check him out!!!

All of the bottom surrounds getting stain… you can see I taped off the bottom of the table, as I did  not want to get a large build up of stain there.

Table legs also getting stain.

The table top is now getting stained – this is the first coat….you can see I taped off the bottom surrounds now because I do not want those sections to get any more coats of stain than they already have.

So, so close now……………………..

And whoo- hooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here we are all refinished and looking good again!

Mike worked his magic on the table too……now it is all nice and level on the top and the extensions pull apart so super easy!

I am happy to report that Mom LOVES her Heywood Wakefield table and is thrilled with the results!

Stay tuned…..more Heywood refinishing projects coming up in the near future!

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8 Responses to Refinishing and Restoring A Vintage 1940s Heywood Wakefield Extension Dining Room Table – Thursday Retro Rewind

  1. Susan from Boston Reply

    March 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Nicely done, Sara. As always. 🙂

    BTW, every time I see your mom’s VCT I grow sad because, as you know, I had chosen those exact same tiles (great minds think alike), only by the time I was ready to pull the trigger on the new floor, the tiles were discontinued. 🙁

    Oh well… I guess it wasn’t meant to be. It doesn’t mean I hate my new VCT, it’s just not exactly what I wanted.


    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 24, 2017 at 2:02 am

      Thanks Susan! 🙂

      Ugh, sorry again on the VCT….I can empathize as I have had the same thing happen to me…wallpaper was my thorn. 🙁

      Maybe once you have the KP cabinets installed it’ll all flow together and you won’t even notice anymore!

      • Susan from Boston Reply

        March 24, 2017 at 4:42 pm

        Hi Sara!

        Speaking of knotty pine. I took today off from work for 2 reasons:

        1.) I had a custom cabinet guy schedule to come and measure my kitchen for knotty pine; and

        2.) Saturday is my 50th birthday so I wanted to get a jump start on household chores etc…because tomorrow is my beauty day (ha-ha!) hair/nails before the evening’s festivities. I’m so excited. My friends are taking me to an Italian restaurant in Federal Hill, Providence, RI.

        Any hoo! The cabinet guy was super nice. I asked him some questions on maximizing the space I have and he had some really wonderful ideas. I also gave him photos of Betty Draper’s kitchen – Mad Men Seasons 1-3 and he was thrilled. He said he wished all of his ‘potential’ clients were as organized as me.

        I then showed him a photo of the New York Metals Banding I want around my countertops. He said he would call and find out if he could get a better price given that he’s a contractor, versus my calling.

        I then said, “BTW, I already purchase my cabinet hardware.” You know, the Amerock stuff I just bought. He asked to see it. When I showed him he said, “Do you want the hammered hinges that show on the outside as well because I have those?” And I said, “Yes!!!” He said, “No problem.”

        I’m super excited. I can’t wait to see his Design and then of course the price. Hopefully it’s within my range.

        Fingers crossed my Retro Guru.



  2. Clarence Ellis Reply

    March 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Sara: This table looks amazing. The finish is really beautiful. I must say, your mom is very lucky to have a daughter and son-in-law that are so generous with their time and talents.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 24, 2017 at 2:03 am

      That is very kind of you to say Clarence…thank you…and thanks on the table too! 🙂

  3. Susan from Boston Reply

    March 24, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    @Clarence Ellis

    I agree 100%.

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