I have a beautiful inlaid burl dining room table. It has a very high gloss
finish. Some miscreant put a small nick (1 mm deep) in the surface, barely
noticeable but, it's there.
I understand there are two types of finish for high-end tabletops, they are
called piano finishes. They can be either lacquer or polyester.
How can I determine if the finish is polyester or lacquer? If it is
polyester, can it be repaired by a DIYer?
I've seen piano refinishers repair dings in lacquer finishes, never
polyester (not that it isn't done, I've just never seen it). It takes a
knack with a lacquer stick, a pallet knife and an alcohol flame, then
wet-sanding down to rouge. Not easy, especially if you're trying to
match anything but black.
Here\'s some of my work:
Lacquer can be DIY, but unless you have some experience, you may end up with
a large area that is 10,000 times worse than the present damage. Aside
from using a solvent, I don't know how to tell if it is lacquer. Acetone
will dissolve it (and leave a mark) but won't harm the polyester. If you
happen to have a small spot on the side of a leaf you can try a solvent.
Personally, I'd either hire a pro to repair it or I'd just leave it alone.
Tables are meant to be used and they do get dinged.
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