Refinishing an antique table

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Monique
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Today I bought this really cute little antique table made out of solid wood. The top however is in poor condition, the finish is worn through in many places. The rest of the table is fine, what is the best way to fix it up?

I don't want to refinish the whole thing, I like to keep the original finish. Does it make sense to just oil the top? Or would that be a disaster if I'd decide in the future to refinish it? Would it make sense to apply a layer of clear lacquer / paint instead? The last photo shows the transition of finished vs bare wood from the inside drawer.

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Doug Huffman
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Looking at the weight and finish work, it is not YET fine furniture. If you add another finish of lacquer or paint (heaven forbid) then it will never be fine furniture. As solid wood construction becomes rarer, your piece may become fine, so I would gently clean it, rub out the worst of the spots and rings and oil it. Give it the best chance that it can have.
 
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Monique
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Thanks for the advice, the woman I bought if from said it was in her family for a long time and with an aching heart she had to get rid of it (husband thought it didn't fit with the furniture). I'm not expecting it to be fine furniture, even though I like the construction and details. The table will be used to put a big plant on, so the top doesn't worry me that much. Your words are spot on: I'd like to give it the best chance that it can have.
 
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