HELP! Wood Finish Damaged. Pictures included


Hi All-
We spilled some liquid that removed the finish from a piece of our furniture. It's burnished oak. Can this be repaired? Here's a picture:
http://img474.imageshack.us/img474/1667/furniturefinish5zx.jpg
I'm freaking out here. Any advice anyone could provide is apprecaited!
Thanks, Kevin
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I think you will end up needing to strip at least the top surface to get a uniform finish that won't show up.
Whatever you spilled obviously works and I would use the same stuff. Tape or make a clay dam to keep the remover from getting on anything else. You may or may not need a light sanding once you have the finish off.
It would be nice to know what the original finish is, but it is probably a lacquer finish. The color may have been in the lacquer. I don't know what all needs to match = can't see what it is in the picture; but matching finishes is tough. I think I would work with a gel stain, they are forgiving. Make sure you stop when it just a bit too light, as finish will usually darken it a shade or so if you use solvent based polyurethane. Water based urethane is much more transparent and may even benefit from the addition of bit of umber/amber to richen the wood tones.
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Thank you very much for your feedback.
Here's what the rest of the collection looks like.
http://www.basista.com/VaughanBassetSite/VaughanBassetImages/990PraireII/bedroom2/990_SlatwArmoire_large.jpg
I'm not sure what the chemical was. It was from one of those scent things that you plug in the wall and give off an aroma. Some type of oil or something is inside them and it leaked when set on the dresser.
I wonder how much it would cost to have someone fix this for me? I don't want to make a mess of it w/o knowing what I'm doing...
Kevin
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Here's another picture that is zoomed out a little more so you can see more of the dresser:
http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/7959/dresserdamage25gp.jpg
Thanks, Kevin
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Kevin,
Contact the manf of the bedroom suite and ask to speak to someone in the finishing dept. You should have all the info from the tags that tell the model, color finish. They are the best ones to tell you how to do a repair. Some offer a repair kit for scratches etc. but this will probably require more than a simple repair. It looks to be fairly new and you may be able to get a quart of stain from them. I was lucky enough to get a quart of stain from the same batch my kitchen cabinets were finished with.
Won't cost you much to call and ask and you'll know you're getting the right info. Even if they say it needs to be professionally done at least you'll know if stain is available and what the finish was and how it was applied. If you hire a pro, get recommendations and check out his work.
Bob S.

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Vaughan-Bassett is the manufacturer of the furniture. Unfortunately, I'm having a difficult time finding contact information. I will follow up with the place I purchased the furniture from.
I'll also be having these guys look at it:
http://www.professionalfurniture.com /
Thanks again for your feedback.
Kevin
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http://www.bassettfurniture.com / http://www.vaughanfurniture.com /
http://www.ihfc.com/Index.cfm?Section=Listing&Letter=V&IDd5456 Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. of Galax, Va 300 E. Grayson St. Galax VA 24333
276.236.6161 . Phone - Corporate 336.841.2073 . Phone - Showroom 276.236.0385 . Fax - Corporate
Bob S.

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Thanks so much for the info. I ust emailed their sales department.
Kevin
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If you do resand/refinish yourself, just verify before-hand that it's not an oak veneer on top of some other substraight. Otherwise you may end up sanding through the veneer, especially if you use a belt sander. It's a pretty rare piece of furniture these days that's solid hardwood everywhere.
brian
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"substrate" (sorry to correct you )
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Just to follow up on my original post. I'm able to purchase a new prefinished dresser top from the manufacturer for $100 via Art Van. I will remove the original top myself and replace it. Very nice option and I'm glad it worked out so well for me.
Thanks again to all.
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A quart of stain is not the answer. That finish is a toner. That is, the color is *in* the clearcoat, rather than a clear coat applied over a stain.
This is *not* a DIY job. Your local furniture place should be able to refer you to a reputable repair person. I suspect that an on-site repair would do an OK job of making it considerably less noticable. To return it to like-new condition, they will have to strip and resinish the top (likely) using professional-grade spray equipment. Color matching could be achieved by finding the right color and then spraying additional coats until the correct amount of color has been aplied.
_Steve
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Thanks for your feedback. Yes, it does look as though the finish is tinted to color.
Bummer is this is a 6-drawer 41" dresser and my local store (Art Van) requires me to bring the piece in to them for them to give me an estimate for repair. I then would have to make an appointment and then take the piece back to them AGAIN to actually have the repair performed.
Ugh. Dammit this sucks.
What do you think is the possiblilty for me to strip the top and then stain and finish it to get a close match?
Thanks, Kevin

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I was wrong on the dimensions. It's a 66" dresser. This is getting better all the time.
KH
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Short answer: no.
Stripping is a easy.
Here are some of the challenges: "stain" typically has a combination of dye and pigment. pigment lodges itself in the grain and accentuates it (particularly with the big pores of oaks which you have). By contrast, the dye component will color evenly. Therefore over the counter stain is unlikely to reproduce a match. Basically, you are tying to match 2 colors at once, the color in the pores and the color around the pores. That's tough.
To get the best color match, you would most likely have to mix dyes (or stains) and do a bazillion tests on scrap (which you do not have) to arrive at a close recipe.
If you really want to do it yourself, I would consider stripping followed by one or more of the aerosol toner products. think of the as lacquer-based minwax polyshades in a spray can followed by some more aerosol top coat from the same company. The aerosol will allow you to gradually add color and sneak up on it.
In could give you a pretty good color match, which will probably OK if it is just one plane of the piece. The sheen of the finish is unlikely to match.
About 20 years ago I had a cat badly scratch a new cherry bedroom set. The furniture place sent over a guy to do an on-site repair. He custom mixed some "paint" (opaque finishing product) and painted in the lines. The indents remained and he used and aerosol lacquer to recoat the top. The sheen in the top was not the same.
This is not to say that this guy was a hack. I think he did a decent job a camouflaging the problem. I just want to set you expectations for what a can be accomplished with (an experienced) on-site repair.
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LOL. I hope he speaks chinese. :-D
I think the only fix is to run through the grits with an orbital sander, then try to match the top stain to the rest of the piece, then seal with poly.
brian
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That may be but at least they're located in Virginia and High Point, NC. Last time I was thru that part of the country there weren't to many Chinese restaurants around and I doubt there ever will be in that burg.
But seriously, if you follow the links you will see that they have been involved with fighting the dumping of Chinese furniture in the US market. They have closed some manufacturing facilities and one article said they only make the particle board furniture now. That doesn't surprise me since if you look real close at even some of the high-end name brands, the real wood turns out to be the veneer over the termite barf.
Bob S.

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If they're fighting the manufacturing move to china, then my hat's off to them. Of course, if they gave in and are doing the particle board thing then I think they've already lost. That was my main motivator for getting into woodworking. I hate particle board. People just don't want to pay for good furniture when they don't know the difference.
My wife's grandparents wanted to buy some "nice" furniture for their favorite grandchild. It was a name brand bedoorm set for a little girl (can't remember the brand) and a short book case. They asked, and were assured, that all the pieces were "solid oak". To me, and to them, that means no particle board. Sure enough, the only real oak on any of the pieces were the edge banding used to hide the particle board. We didn't have the heart to tell them. They paid an arm and a leg for the real thing. The backs of all the cases for the bedroom set was 1/8" mdf. One move was enough to pull the staples out. I repaired most of it. The drawer slides were one metal track stapled to the case. A couple of those came out. And even though the drawers used halfblind dovetails, one of the sides warped so badly that it pulled the dovetail apart. Fixed that one also. This was supposed to be the good stuff.

$10,000 for the bedroom set, I bet it's particle board. He needs to be real careful when he sands it. My wife and I bought a pine bedroom set many years ago. They originally wanted $6000 for it. I think we paid $2500. It has no particle board, but it's still just pine.
brian
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Brian,
I believe the article said they closed down some plants because of the dumping of Chinese goods in the states. You can't compete against that for long. Amazing, good looking junk sells and top dollar can be had by the retailers. We were in a name brand furniture store last year and my SIL was looking for medium sized desk/table. She found what she wanted in a painted piece and asked the salesperson to tell her about it. Got the full story, solid wood, hand painted, hand made and no two are alike.
I started looking after I heard the price and asked the salesperson to please identify the type of wood that was used in it's construction. After awhile she came back and said the turned legs were made from poplar and the rest was a wonderful new product made in Australia and gave me the name of the item. I don't recall the name, but its harvested, ground up and is what MDF is made from... Everything, drawer, top, frame, fold-down lid and all the shelving was made from MDF and then painted. I would guess less than a full sheet was used and 4 poplar simple-tapered turned legs. All that for only $1,900 - plus delivery of course!
I too would doubt that the OP's furniture is made from "real" un-composted hardwoods since he didn't say he had to give up his first born just to purchase the suite. That doesn't make it bad if it's got a good hardwood veneer but I've seen plenty of pieces that use a photo process to create grain on some material and that is glued down to the substrate then finished. You can bet, they have the wording so it's legally correct but ambiguous for the consumer to discern whether it's made from solid hardwoods, veneers and other composites....
In fact... how would you pose the question? If you asked is this made from real, hardwoods - it could be a "composite" or other man-made product composed of ground up hardwoods. So how do you ask the question?
Bob S.

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I've thought about this too. How do you phrase the question to remove all wiggle-room? For me the answer was easy: it doesn't matter. They're all either clueless or lying anyway. So I'll just make what I want the way I want.
I freaked my wife out a few months back. We were in a furniture store. ( we don't buy furniture from stores now, we just go there for ideas ) And there was this armoire. This is what I said to her:
Let me tell you the history of this piece of furniture. It was manufactured in the summer in a southern provice of china in an unairconditioned factory. (she said, oh really? like I was insane) During the manufacture, they assembled the piece, with raised panel doors, then applied the finish. Then the piece was placed in a cargo ship and sent to los angeles where it waited for a few months, drying out, before arriving here in this store.
I knew this because the panels in the doors had strunk exposing some lines on each side of the panel. When the finish was applied, the panel was wider, with more of it obscured by the styles. Now, there were these light-colored stripes on the panels where there was no finish.
Now I could be wrong, but assuming that it was made in china was probably a good assumption. And the summer plus no temp control plus a southern provice makes for a humid environment. And most stuff from china comes through LA, where it's dry.
Had I been the furniture store owner, this would be unacceptable quality to me. But I'm sure the salesman will come up with some story about how it adds character or something.
brian
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