About Howard Products

Preserving the original wood finish while restoring an antique can mean preserving the authenticity and value of an “original”. Equally, stripping the existing wood finish can mean making it less antique, and can literally translate into stripping the value of the piece. The problem that remains: how can you remove blemishes in wood finishes and restore the original colour and lustre without removing any of the existing finish?

In 1969, Douglas G. Howard set out to solve this dilemma. Unable to find an answer at his local hardware store, he went to work in his garage to create his own product.

His goal was to make a product that would be much more than a surface treatment, yet nothing like a stripper or a refinisher. The key was to develop a formulation that could restore the surface, Break through the finish with stain, and evaporate before the finish was removable. The end result was Restor-A-Finish, Howard’s first in an entire line of wood care products.

For over 40 years, Howard’s Restor-A-Finish has been a standard in the antique industry.

Almost any existing wood tone, from Birdseye Maple to Jacobean, can be closely matched using one of (or a combination of) the nine available finish colours. The nine colours are Neutral, Maple-Pine, Golden Oak, Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Dark Walnut, Dark Oak, and Ebony Brown.

It is the stain in Restor-A-Finish, combined with its unique ability to penetrate without eliminating any of the existing finish, that enables anyone to easily and permanently eliminate blemishes in wood finishes. Scratches, oxidation, white heat rings, water marks, smoke damage, sun fade, etc., quickly disappear. Kitchen cabinets can be successfully restored in hours instead of days. An old garage sale piece can be transformed into attractive furniture in just minutes.

Technically speaking, Restor-A-Finish integrates with the finish just enough to allow the stain in the product to pass through the finish surface. The solvents evaporate before any of the existing finish is removed, restoring the original colour and lustre while blending out the blemishes and minor scratches.

A stripper is designed to dissolve and eliminate the entire wood finish, including the stain. A “refinisher” product (sometimes confused with, but nothing like Restor-A-Finish) basically removes just the top finish. In either case, a new finish, or typically Tung oil, needs to be applied.

The Restor-A-Finish concept is to permanently revitalise and restore the original colour and lustre in one step, without removing any of the existing finish. Most wood finishes that seem to need a complete refinishing job can be completely restored in a few minutes with this simple wipe-on, wipe-off process.

With so numerous years of success in the antique industry, Howard’s Restor-A-Finish has passed the test of even the most scrutinizing of wood care experts.

Howard Furniture Restoration Supplies

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