The Water Based Blues

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Forum topic by Klickitat posted 04-27-2013 03:45 PM 999 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Klickitat's profile


51 posts in 1869 days

04-27-2013 03:45 PM

Can someone please help me with repairing water based finishes that have been damaged on existing furniture.

I hate the crap, it is soft, hazy and oh yeah, soft. More and more I am running into furniture that has damaged or scuffed water based finishes. I would like to know if there is a way to repair damage. As it is I have been passing on a lot of furniture because I can not figure out how to deal with the stuff.

11 replies so far

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1891 days

#1 posted 04-27-2013 04:12 PM

Are you absolutely sure what you’re dealing with is ALL water based finishes? Most factory/contract shop refinished furniture is clear lacquer sprayed – it is usually thin and easily damaged by light scuffs, water and alcohol.

If not, lightly sand the whole area and apply water based finish – unless the damage is deeper, in which case you have to go down to the wood/veneer and totally re-stain and refinish the whole area. The exact same process would apply if the damaged piece was clear lacquered, polyurethaned, varnished or epoxied. Shellac is a slightly different ball game.

Repairing furniture damage is all the same process for different clear coats (with some varying dry times) – unless I’m totally missing something.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Hammerthumb's profile


2844 posts in 1974 days

#2 posted 04-27-2013 04:13 PM

Water based poly or lacquer?

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View AlaskaGuy's profile (online now)


4136 posts in 2308 days

#3 posted 04-27-2013 07:05 PM

I believe I’d contact the manufacture of the product and ask them. Seems they would know best.

What product is it?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Klickitat's profile


51 posts in 1869 days

#4 posted 04-27-2013 07:10 PM

not really sure guys. Other than condensation puts a white ring on the finish in 30 seconds and Old English will not gloss over a problem. I was told it was because it was a water based finish.

See the ignorance, hence the reason for the questions.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2285 days

#5 posted 04-27-2013 07:58 PM

white ring?

Waxed maybe?

View verdesardog's profile


160 posts in 2610 days

#6 posted 04-27-2013 08:44 PM

water based finishes are not prone to damage from water, that sounds like shelack to me…

-- .. heyoka ..

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1891 days

#7 posted 04-27-2013 10:05 PM

I see a lot of white rings and fuzzied areas on shellacked and lacquered pieces mostly, caused by ‘sweating’ glasses of cold beverages. Leaving a freshly delivered pizza box on ANY clear coated table for 30 mins. will also leave a lovely and permanent clouded white impression 9 times out of 10.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Earlextech's profile


1161 posts in 2689 days

#8 posted 04-29-2013 05:34 PM

I have never had a water borne finish allow a white ring to occur. Sounds like shellac/lacquer to me and that is easily fixed.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Loren's profile (online now)


10395 posts in 3646 days

#9 posted 04-29-2013 05:44 PM

With some skill most any clear finish can be scraped and
feathered with razor blades, carefully sanded to perhaps
320 grit, the color corrected, then topcoated by
padding on a blonde shellac. Because shellac is
compressible when padded on (french polishing)
it can be worked to nearly imperceptible thickness
at the edges where it is feathered into the old
finish. Once the shellac cures, it can be leveled
if needed. Then you’d work with fine sandpaper
and rubbing compounds to match the gloss of
the old finish.

View ksSlim's profile


1276 posts in 2888 days

#10 posted 04-29-2013 06:29 PM

Water rings on many finishes, shellac, varnish etc. can most times be removed with mayonaise.
Coat liberally, let stand ofr an hour, wipe off the mayo.

Or with a cotton swap and 3 small vials of thinner, you could test the finish in a hidden area on the piece.
Alochol for shellac, lacquer thinner for lacquer, MS for varnish.

Might beat passing up a paying job.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3584 days

#11 posted 04-29-2013 07:14 PM

Put a piece of brown paper with oil applied liberally over the white ringed area,and go over with a warm not scolding iron and it will come away I always give this advice and it works great. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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