Sometimes I get myself into projects that I'm just not sure how to proceed, perhaps biting off a bit more than I could chew. That's how this waterfall sideboard felt. I knew I could deal with most of its physical problems and I could figure out the missing veneer issues, but I made a rookie mistake...I bought it from a smoker. So not only did I have to go into her house to get it because she was wheelchair bound, but I had to get the kitty litter out of the drawers and try not to suffocate on smoke in the process and I still paid her for the piece. By the time I got it home my entire minivan reeked of smoke and I knew hubby would not be happy since he has a smoke allergy....oops. So instead of using it as a TV stand/storage in our bedroom as planned hubby said to flip it and find something else suitable for our bedroom.
I hauled it out of our car and set it on our front porch to begin airing it out. I tried baking soda, vinegar, onions and sunlight - basically every trick I could find on the internet and it eventually worked....after a month I could start to bring it back to its former glory.
I removed the drawers, scraped the layers of grime and smoke off the top and drawer fronts. I used the "restore a finish" in Mahogany to bring back the luster and remove most of the scuffs and watermarks. The bottom panel was missing large chunks of veneer and I had to remove the rest of the veneer and stained in several colors to match the rest of the piece. The bottom drawer pull was missing the bakelite insert and buying a 9" drawer pull was not in the budget (cost more than what I paid for the piece in the first place). I made an insert (and matching handles for the top pulls) out of oven bake clay in blues and grays. It came out garish but I didn't have a lot of other options, so while doing touch up on a corner I used the stain marker and colored them with a "Dark Walnut" stain pen. It left a hint of a blue but toned down the garish colors - so much better.
I moved the sideboard into our dining room to do the final assembly work and put it in the corner to take pictures for sale. Hubby took one look and said that looks good there, let's keep it. Even with his super sensitive nose, he couldn't detect anymore smoke in the wood. Gone was the smoke smell and instead was a beautiful sideboard that matched the wood floors - it was made for that room and matched our buffet. Major score!
I'm no longer afraid of "smokey" furniture but I'm still on the lookout for a project piece for our bedroom since the sideboard now lives in our dining room.