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water mark on waxed table top - HELP PLEASE

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RogerM

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About 25 years ago I made a pair of side tables from a piece of mahogany that was liberated from a building society branch that was being refitted and they've been in daily use. We always use coasters for drinks, but last night SWMBO grabbed a bar of chocolate, put it down on a damp worktop and then put it on the table top leaving the mark shown.



The original finish was simply colron wood dye (wouldn't touch the stuff these days) and then beeswax furniture polish which has been touched up irregularly ever since - not often enough to be truthful :-" .

The light marks in the centre of the table are barely visible indoors and we can live with those, but the marksin the bottom left corner definitely need attention. So far I've not done anything to it. I've read that sometimes you can get away with running a hairdrier over it before adding new wax polish - I guess no harm in trying?

So - how would you deal with this? I really don't want to do a full strip down if I can get away without, but I would be grateful for any ideas. Maybe clean back to bare (stained) wood with white spirit, shellac sanding sealer and Chestnut Oils microcrystalline wax?
 

yetloh

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I'm no furniture finish restorer but I find it hard to see how you are going to repair this damage in a way that will be remotely near invisible. No doubt an expert restorer could do soemthing with it but that would cost and surely still be likely to become visible again with time and the effects of UV.

I am amazed that you have managed to avoid damage for 25 years because I would not dream of using wax for a table top. In fact, having used wax for many years I have now pretty much given up using it altogether. Many finishes can be burnished or cut back to just about any level of sheen/shine. All waxing does is to give a transient alteration to the level of sheen of the undrlying finish or impart some also transient sheen to unfinished wood. I have concluded that it makes much more sense to use a suitably resistant finish (which will vary according to the application), bring it to the level of sheen I want and save myself the trouble of periodic waxing. Not only does it save me work it also avoids the headaches my wife gets from the solvents waxes conatain.

I'm afraid that none of this is very helpful, Roger, but if it was mine I would bite the bullet, strip it back and use something tough like pre-catalysed lacquer or, dare I say it, an oil based polyurethane. I have found the latter to be very durable and capable of producing a very fine finish if diluted with 40% white spirit and wiped on in plenty of thin coats.

Jim
 

doctor Bob

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I have told you how to repair this on the other forum.
Just trust me, 2 seconds and a bit of faith and its sorted.

The water is in the wax, not the wood, causing the wax to bloom, soak a cloth in meths, rub over the mark and set light to it, let it burn for 2 second, the heat will evaporate the water in the wax.

restorers trick, £100 for 2 seconds work.

I can't guarantee it will work on such a large mark but you have nothing to lose.

Please video it..... :lol:
 

Hudson Carpentry

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I have got watermarks out with nail polish before. Try on a small unseen area first to be sure its not going to react with your finish as im sure its varnish nail polish works with.
 

RogerM

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Thanks for all your suggestions. Not sure I'm brave enough to set fire to it with meths at the moment - primarily because I don't have time to strip it back if it doesn't work. It's an intriguing idea tho' so may just polish up a bit of scrap and deliberately watermark it and try it.

In the end I ran a hairdryer over it for about 5 or 6 mins and then recoated with Chestnut oils Microcrystalline wax. It has been about 90% effective, and although not a perfect repair, you have to look at it in just the right light and at the right angle to see where the mark was - so that'll do just fine for the time being until I have time to strip it back and maybe refinish with something a bit more durable.

 

woodbloke

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Good repair Rog...have you banned SWIMBO from chocci though?...best of luck in the attempt if you do 8-[ 8-[ :-" :lol: - Rob
 
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