The furniture aren't very damaged, just a bit worn.

I don't have any knowledge or experience on the subject, I'm just trying to revive them a bit. I'd rather not unscrew it or take it apart.

I found information on the topic, but I'm not sure which are relevant to my case, and I don't want to mess it up.

I think I have to use wood finish, but I don't know of which type whatsoever. And I'm not sure either wether I have to scrub it.

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  • Did you try starting with a basic furniture polish to see if it helps? – Hemm May 4 '13 at 22:38

Can't tell what sort of varnish, if any, is on there, but it looks like it's come off in the worn places you care about anyway. Without a complete refinish job, you can try touching up much of the damage you picture with a swab that's been dipped in a dark oak (or red oak) stain. Just put a little stain in the places the finish is gone, wait 20 min. and wipe off gently. The result will not be as good as a complete strip, sand, restain and refinish job, but with the correct choice of stain color I've seen this method take things from fug-ugly to really not too shabby. If you go this route, be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first.

  • Getting a mismatch of color could make it worse, so I'd add to try it on an area that isn't visible or obvious. – Hemm May 4 '13 at 22:39
  • @Hemm Exactly. It looks like a pretty standard dark oak stain, w flecks of black paint, in the pictures, but pix can be deceiving. – Wayfaring Stranger May 4 '13 at 23:12
  • You're probably right about the oak colour : now I recall there is "tudor oak" written on the back of one of them ! So I'll go to a DIY store and ask for Oak Couloured Wood Stain, and then apply it carefully to the affected areas if the coulour matches, right ? – hugo May 5 '13 at 5:50
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    @hugu I don't believe stain color names are standardized, especially with older furniture. "Tudor oak" could also just be a brand. The color of the wood itself can vary a lot and make it harder to match. – Hemm May 9 '13 at 7:04
  • Yeah trial and error is the way to go. Also maybe try a gel stain, seems like I've had better luck with those on refinishing jobs like this. – user23534 Jul 27 '14 at 15:23

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