Fixing a blemish on a new table

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Forum topic by Jordan_0519 posted 04-30-2013 06:32 PM 1426 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 1950 days

04-30-2013 06:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question refurbishing finishing

So, a buddy of mine’s wife was doing some arts and crafts on their brand new kitchen table and spilled some kind of glue onto the top. They overreacted a bit and went to the local box store and bought Goo-Gone or Goof off or some kind of industrial cleaner that ate through the finish and exposed the wood of the plywood top. They wanted to know if I could re-finish or blend in a repair. I feel comfortable doing the task and have the tools necessary, just wanted to have a good game plan before I start sanding away. Any thoughts or guidance as to how to go about this would be appreciated

-- You can do anything with the right tools

4 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3159 days

#1 posted 04-30-2013 06:47 PM

That is a toned finish. It means the color is in the finish, not in a stain absorbed into the wood. I’d bet, therefore, it’s lacquer. I’d use some dyes with a brush-on lacquer to get a color match, and then spot it on. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll let somebody else tell you to strip it down. Short of stripping it, you will impress the heck out of me if your repair is transparent. Not an easy task, IMO.

-- jay,

View Finisherman's profile


227 posts in 1850 days

#2 posted 05-07-2013 07:38 PM

Do you have an airbrush? If you do, I’d attempt the following: Clean the finish with naphtha. Next, mask off the area with green painter’s tape and newspaper. Once the area is masked off, make an opening in the paper that’s only as large as the damage. The idea here is to apply colour only to the damaged area. Next, thin some lacquer to the point where it will spray smoothly through your airbrush. Now, add a few drops of trans-tint dye to a little bit of lacquer thinner and add the coloured solution to your lacquer, a little bit at a time, until the colour closely resembles that of your table. Do a test on a piece of white paper to get an idea of the true colour. Always err on the light side because you can always make something a little bit darker but trying to make something that’s gotten too dark lighter is a pain in the neck. Spray your tinted lacquer very lightly over the damaged area, checking the colour match periodically. When the colour is correct, seal it in with a clear topcoat of lacquer. Next, if you own spray equipment, you might want to recoat the entire top with a coat of clear lacquer to ensure an even sheen. Now rub out the finish as usual. As the abover poster said, this process isn’t easy, but it may be worth a try. If this doesn’t work, stripping and refinishing is an option, but I’d try this first. If you don’t have an airbrush, you can buy aerosol cans of tinted lacquer from Mohawk or another company that caters to the professional finishing trade. Just make sure that you get the transparent dye based toner, and not the opaque pigmented one. Lastly, in my opinion, trying to sand out the damage seems like a very poor option. you’ll very likely increase the size of the damaged area. I hope that this helps.

View Loren's profile


10401 posts in 3648 days

#3 posted 05-07-2013 08:28 PM

Lacking skill with lacquer, I would approach it differently.

I would dye the wood to a little lighter than what the
surrounding color, then dry brush acrylic paint (like
artist paint) using fine brushes to add dark (and perhaps
lighter) highlights.

Once that looks ok, I would try shellac using a french
polishing method. Get the whitest shellac you can
get. It will still amber the color a bit, but since
the table is dark it won’t be very noticeable. The
advantage of shellac is that it can be compressed
and feathered into the surrounding finish.

Do some practice on scrap obviously.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2970 days

#4 posted 05-08-2013 12:32 AM

Try practicing on scraps before taking it on and make your friend aware that although you will try a spot repair, it may involve taking the top back to bare and a total respray of the top – both halves and possibly the extension leaves. If you do end up sanding off the finish, don’t go at it aggressively or you may rub through the veneer.
Good luck.

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