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  1. #1
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    removing stains from a wood table

    Someone put a drinking glass down on an antique end table and it left a ring shaped stain behind. How do you get rid of this??
    Last edited by Snicklefritz; 08-05-07 at 12:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BillK's Avatar
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    I'd guess the table top has a shellac finish which is susceptible to damage by water. Let me look through my old copies of Fine Woodworking and see if they have any recommendations...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    On my grandparents old table like that, the stains go away after a while.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  4. #4
    Senior Member BillK's Avatar
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    First, if this end table is truly an antique, worth big $, or something you cherish, then I'd take it to a professional furniture refinisher. If not...

    According to Fine Woodworking (#149, page 63), "Most damage near the top (referring to a white ring or a whitish, foggy area) can be rubbed out with some steel wool and mineral oil, rubbing compound or even fine sandpaper. The whitish color disappears rather quickly, and once removed, the finish can be rubbed back out to the original sheen. If the finish is lacquer or shellac, a light padding with a rag moistened with denatured alcohol will remove the white spot. Dampen the rage just enough that it feels like the tip of a dog's nose--moist but not dripping wet--and use a back-and-forth pendulum motion to remove the white spot working with the direction of the grain."

    I'd start with the latter approach (denatured alcohol). If that doesn't work, then I'd move up to steel wool and mineral oil.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BillK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vpiuva View Post
    Seems like someone recommended oxalic acid for this question in an earlier thread.
    It wasn't me...but the article in Fine Woodworking that I mentioned above talks about stripping the finish and using oxalic acid IF the damage from moisture has eaten through the finish and discolored the wood below. I was hoping the damage wasn't that severe.

  6. #6
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
    Someone put a drinking glass down on an antique end table and it left a ring shaped stain behind. How do you get rid of this??
    Sand it out with said person's tongue
    "It is not the critic who counts."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    On my grandparents old table like that, the stains go away after a while.
    Yes. And there is a lesson there.
    They told me to wear more lycra, and I said "no, no, no."

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