My office has a largish conference table approx. 4 feet x 12 feet. We got a
"deal" on this for the low, low price of $6000. The bulk of the table is
particleboard. (I was not consulted on this purchase). When I took a
cursory look at the top, it looked like a plastic laminate of some kind with
a faux wood grain. Well, I got an email from the boss today saying that
someone had spilled coffee on it today and when they wiped it up, the area
that was spilled on is now duller than the rest of the table. One of the
resident geniuses told the owner that we should apply a "urethane" finish.
Now, I suppose it's possible that the top is a wood veneer of some kind, but
it just didn't feel like it to me...it felt like laminate. OTOH, if it was
laminate, I wouldn't expect coffee to have any effect, unless that's some
powerful strong coffee. Can anyone think of a way of telling for sure what
the surface is? I don't think I'll be allowed to take a core sample. If it
is, in fact, veneer, then poly might be the way to go. If it is laminate,
then I don't know what to do or why the finish looks dull. As our resident
woodworking expert (that's frightening), I've been asked to take a look at
On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 15:59:24 -0500, "Todd Fatheree"
I don't know how the table was built, but perhaps the top overhangs an
apron by a bit, and perhaps the underside of the top is finished with
the same material as the top. I don't think that anyone would use
shellac on a conference table but you could try q-tipping a bit of
alcohol onto this mostly hidden surface to test for it.
Nitro lacquer is a possibility and you can test for this by daubing a
bit of lacquer thinner on, to see if it dissolves the finish.
I don't know how long the coffee was allowed to sit on the table and I
don't know how hot the coffee was. The dulling could be caused by
either moisture or heat.
In either case, I would first try to polish the dull area with a clean
white dry rag first (a well washed T shirt would be good). Rub it out
hard but don't put anything on the rag at this point.
If this doesn't bring it back, or if it only brings it back part way,
I'd try a bit of paste wax and try to bring the finish up with that.
Anything beyond that probably demands the attention of a pro, on a six
thousand dollar table.
Of course, if you can find out who made the table, it would be worth a
phone call to find out more before you do anything.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
Look at the description on the invoice? Call the dealer/manufacturer? At
that price though, they may still be on vacation with your money.
Conference room tables should be able to handle spilled coffee; maybe you
can take it back and get something durable at Ikea.
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.