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Removing nasty water marks from old veneered furniture

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Anonymous

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I've inherited a pair of rather nice card tables of Portugese origin. One of them is in lovely condition, but the other has a huge white watermark on the surface that is the result of overfilling a plant that stood on it. The veneer is almost bleached! It's also cracked.

I can fix the cracks, but how to restore the colour? I am thinking I will have to refinish the tops of both tables so they match, but I need to get rid of the big white blotch.

I think the wood might be walnut from the grain pattern, but it's not walnut colour, closer to a warm red oak with undertones of grey. It's defintely not black walnut. The tables are really nice - the bases and legs are solid wood and the tops are the usual half-table type so they can back up to each other or a wall, and both tabletops swivel and open to form card tables. Lovely pieces. When I get a chance I'll post a pic link.

Suggestions?

Thanks.
 

The Restorer

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Is there any polish left on the veneer where the white patch is? If so white mark is due to moisture within the polish film. Can be removed with a little restorers trick using meths and matches :shock: will post further details if required. Not for the faint hearted!
If no polish left on surface, then you'll need to start from scratch. Need to use a decent stripper 1st to make sure nothing is left of old finish ( i use Nitromors yellow and clean off with Meths). Then couple of coats of Shellac (brushed), flat it off, then grain fill and colour. Probably find that Vandyke will give you a nice warm colour. Dilute it and experiment a bit to find what you want. Then build up finish with Shellac, flatting off as necessary.
If i can help you any further, please ask.

Res.
 

The Restorer

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Ok for those who want to know

Meths and matches - how to remove white water marks from french polished surfaces.

If you try this its at your risk, don't blame me if you set fire to yourself, your furniture, or your workshop. You have been warned!!!

A white ring on your nicely french polished table top is usually down to water being spilt on the surface and left there (favorite culprit is watering the plant stood on top of the table). The water lies between the films of polish and causes this white bloom.
The way to remove this is to get the moisture within the film to evaporate. A quick and easy way to do this is to apply a very small (wipe it on with a cloth) amount of methylated spirit directly to the mark and then light it straight away :shock: :shock: :shock: wait maybe a second and blow it out. Resulting heat evaporates moisture, quick wipe over with a bit of wax job done.
Best done with two people, although once you get confident you can do it yourself.

Obviously this procedure has it's risk :wink: try not to use the same hand used to apply the meths to then light the meths (hence 2 people). May need to carry this out a couple of times to completely remove the mark. Works best on fresh damage.
For some reason customers are best kept away when doing this to their very expensive antiques :shock:
 
A

Anonymous

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No polish left - the wood is bleached! Wasn't expecting it to be that bad, so it's a refinish job. I did find out that the wood is actually black walnut - didn't look like it in the photographs. Must be stained somehow. Ah well, out with the citrus-strip, sandpaper, etc etc
 
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