I've enjoyed hosting many dinners at the wonderfully long table selected for our dining room last year. After considering many options I finally hit the purchase button on the Grand Baluster table from Restoration Hardware, made of solid wood extending to a truly grand 10 feet long! (It didn't hurt the decision making process that it was on sale with an additional 20% off at the time...you know me by now, I don't like to overpay!)
Imagine my disappointment when it arrived, not with a beautiful gray, washed wood finish, but instead a rather nasty looking green tinge...something like drying moss - to be generous. When the delivery men carried it into the house the first thing I thought was, "well now, that is one ugly table!" I won't go into detail about the options for returning, but as they included losing $ over shipping costs I decided to jump in and refinish the thing. I know, refinish a new table! But the table top was a bit rough and sanding down the finish would accomplished two things; getting rid of the green while creating a smoother surface that wouldn't result in guests leaving the table with splinters. Besides, the table with its gorgeous lines, solid wood and sturdy construction made it worth the effort.
After sanding and exploring a few products to seal the wood I opted to go with Briwax in clear. The wax resulted in a beautiful natural tone with a subtle sheen and a surprisingly "soft to the touch" finish.
In the last year I've gotten a few inquiries as to how the table, and particularly the finish, is holding up to wear and tear. Wonderfully, with this one exception. I think I put down a hot bowl or something...which left a mark.
So the other day I pulled out the can of Briwax to reapply a bit to this section. The mark was 99% gone within seconds. Pretty great for a table that has gotten a lot of use!
I don't know if there is a lesson to this story, except to buy solid wood furniture whenever possible and don't be afraid to tweak things to make them into exactly what you want...such pieces will last for years and years!