How to Restore a 1950s Style Table

A vintage style kitchen isn't complete without a 1950s style table.

Restore your 1950s table and make it fit with your kitchen.Restore your 1950s table and make it fit with your kitchen.
Typically made with a Formica top and chrome legs, the tables have matching chairs, covered with vinyl. Modern day companies now make replica tables that look just like the authentic ones. Whether you purchase a reproduction or have a real table from the 1950s, you still have to deal with scratches, stains and other damage to the table. When you restore the table, you remove all those potential problems.

Squeeze a few drops of dish soap or mild detergent into a plastic bucket and fill with water. Mix the liquid with your hands, until the soap and water combine. Dip a soft cloth in the solution and wipe down the top of the table and the vinyl with the solution. Wipe down with a damp cloth and then dry everything with a soft cloth.

Spray window cleaner or glass cleaner over the table and wipe down with a soft cloth. The window cleaner removes any streaks left behind by the soap and water, giving the table top a cleaner look. Buff the table softly with a dry cloth, to remove any traces of the cleaner.

Apply a thin layer of colored epoxy to any scratches on the surface of the table. Press the side or edge of a wood craft stick onto the table and pull it across the epoxy, wiping off any epoxy that spills over the top of the scratch. Use rubbing alcohol poured on a paper towel to wipe off any excess epoxy. Let the epoxy dry completely.

Pour liquid household cleaner on any stains and let sit for at least an hour. Blot away the cleaner with a paper towel and apply more, if the stain remains. Rinse any excess cleaner away from the table with fresh water.

Rub distilled white vinegar over the metal legs of the table and the matching chairs. Use the dull side of a piece of aluminum foil to rub the vinegar onto the chrome or metal surfaces. The mixture removes rust, dulls the appearance of scratch marks or pitting and makes the chrome shiny again.

Things You Will Need

  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Plastic bucket
  • Soft cloth
  • Window cleaner
  • Colored epoxy
  • Craft stick
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towel
  • Liquid household cleaner
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Aluminum foil

Tip

  • A paste made from baking soda and water will also remove stains from the 1950s style table. Apply the mixture to the stains and let dry. Then, wipe away the paste with a damp paper towel.

About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.