I'm hoping someone can help me with this repair. I accidentally
knocked over a bottle of scented oil which leaked through my runner and
dissolved the finish off my dining room table. It left a pretty big
spot - right down to the wood. Is there anything I should know about
re-staining that area to match the rest of the table? I'm nervous to
I can tell you what I did for my dining table that had some scrathces
and stain that just disappeard and was left with off color whitish
finish in some area.
Between using standard minwax stain and stain stick (a pencil of the
stains for deep thin scratches), I was able to stain the surface and
not see any whitish unstained areas. I have read that one can sand the
surface to make an 'even' area to stain. I did not do it.
However, this is my personal experience and I was happy with the
result. One other thing I will recommend when using stain is to make
sure the area is well ventilated.
How big is the table, and how big is the spot? Did the oil really
remove the stain, or just the top finish? If the stain is "bleached"
out, it's going to be a complicated job matching the stain.
If it's just the finish coat, probably lacquer if this is a
store-bought piece, you may be able to reamalgamate the finish, if the
spot isn't too large. Basically, you brush the entire top of the table
with lacquer thinner (sometimes diluted with a dollop or two of
denatured alcohol), let it soak in a bit, then brush again, and if
that doesn't look quite right repeat the process until it does.
There's more to reamalgamation than that very crude description, so if
you're interested I suggest looking it up online or in furniture
refinishing books. I'd also suggest not trying reamalgamation unless
you've done some refinishing and have time to experiment.
It may be worth while to have a professional furniture restorer do the
repair. Look in the yellow pages, or call the store or manufacturer of
the table, or ask moving companies who they use. It may not be as
expensive as you think, and may be cost effective depending on the
original cost of the table or a replacement - or maybe not -:).
From your description, the oil stripped the finish right off the table.
Since it is a dining room table, it will get a lot of close up looks. I
suggest you have a professional on-site repairer. The color came off
because almost all furniture since World War II has the color in the
coatings. Your likelihood of getting an acceptable match yourself is very
low since you don't indicate that you have any experience in doing this kind
of work. You might consider redissolving some of the remaining finish in a
process called reamalgamation but given all the different color layers, it
will probably not match very well.
Baron's advice is spot-on. If the spot is any bigger than a quarter, it's
just going to stick out like a sore thumb. The only way to get a good color
match is to custom blend a color until it's just right. Even then, it will
probably not be perfectly level with the rest of the funish. There will have
to be a top-coat applied to even out the sheen.
In 1987, I hired a "pro" recommended by the furniture store to fix some
deep cat scratches a dresser. He basically *painted* (as in opaque pigmented
finish) then sprayed on a new coat of lacquer. The new finish did not have
the original sheen of the piece.
At the time I thought that the fix was "ok" but that's all. Now I build and
finish my own furniture. In retrospect, that is about the best I could
expect from an on-site repair. To do better you have to completely
strip/sand and refinish the top.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.