Is it possible to repair and refinish a piece of furniture that has not been taken care of and neglected for many years? The condition is poor and some parts are missing. Glass needs to be replaced and there is loose veneer all over. Does this sound like there might be hope for this piece or should it be discarded? The piece is a china buffet .It is a family item and I would really like to save it if possible. What do you think?

As long as there is something to work with there is a good chance that this can be done. The fact that it is a family piece is a driving factor to try to save this heirloom if possible.

After looking at the china buffet and assessing what is there I think the piece has a good chance of being returned to a usable condition.

Here is what I found that needs to be done. -Repair the loose veneer Replace part of one foot, Replace one side of the door, Replace the veneer on the drawer fronts, Add missing hardware, Replace two panes of curved glass, Replace the mirror , Glue the case frame , Refinish the complete piece, and address anything that shows up as all of the above work is being done.

This repair and refinish job is time consuming but as each step gets completed the chances start looking better for a good result.

As the work was getting close to the finish room things were really looking good Problem with the most concern was getting the curved glass. It had been ordered early on but when the business shutdown hit because of the COVI 19 virus the supply chain put the brakes on for completion. Finally I got a call from the glass company that the glass was being shipped. YEAH! All of the items needing attention were in place and done. Installation was completed after the glass arrived.

Now the realization that all of this work took two and a half years. I also had limited time to work on the piece because of my wife’s health issues. Finally all was completed and the customer was delighted. A very patient customer I might add. Rome was not built in a day nor was a china buffet in need of extensive repairs and refinishing.

We are all happy that this was a good result and another family heirloom saved.

Until next time I’m Ron Stookey

E-mail to or telephone at (515) 277-1555. The shop is at 113 5th Street, West Des Moines, Iowa. Mailing address is Ron Stookey, P.O. Box 65102, West Des Moines, Iowa 50226. Visit us at