Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Maryland suburbs outside Washington D.C.
Bikes: '06 Specialized Roubiax Expert, '08 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29, Nishiki frame
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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.