Restoring wooden speaker veneer

So there I was, with a classic pair of vintage speakers but with the wood veneer in terrible condition. Here’s the thing: audio equipment in poor aesthetic condition is difficult to sell (even if it’s working perfectly), to the extent that you can knock off, perhaps, 50% of the value. It’s very rare now that I will bid on equipment that isn’t in excellent condition.

I knew these speakers were worth doing up but I had no idea of the best way to do it. So I went to a local cabinetmaker to investigate the possibility of having the speaker cabinets re-veneered. Well, he laughed, and told me that it wasn’t a viable economic proposition. The cabinetmaker — Terry, his name was — then gave me a can of Howard’s Restor-A-Finish and sent me away. He asked for no money or contact details from me, and this man had never even met me before. All he said was this: “Pay me if it works for you.” (Isn’t it nice to come across some old-fashioned trust and “done-on-a-handshake” values!)

Well, I paid that man less than a day later and I’m still using the same can of Howard’s more than a year later.

The genius of this product is that it’s made for lazy bastards like myself: each speaker took me about 10 minutes to do and there is no prep or messy clean-up. Just wipe in on with an old rag, then wipe it off. Wonderful

Check out these “before and after” shots and you’ll see what I mean:




One Comment on “Restoring wooden speaker veneer”

  1. Gerold says:

    Restore-a-finish works much better on old veneer when you use steel wool to apply, leave it dry then wipe it of. I use this method on my vintage hifi gear (speakers , wooden cases etc ..).
    Biggest problem is that Restore-a-finish is not available in Europe, and it’s nearly impossible to ship it or take it on a plane as it’s flamable 😦

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