I've got a bedroom suite, thirty or more years old, whose finish (whatever
it is) has turned, um, "sticky." As a consequence, it hold dust like a
flocked Christmas tree!
I could, and probably will, refinish the four pieces, but curiosity compels
me to ask what IS the original finish and what caused this condition?
Thanks in advance for your best guesses.
There is no doubt it is either lacquer, varnish, shellac or oil :)
Why did it get sticky? No idea, what did you do to it? :) Seriously, what
do you use for heat? Some emission from that may have been the culprit.
This happened to our Varithane(sp?) finished floors, too. Took about
25 years but... turned into a real disaster. Finish just kept getting
sticky and/or gooey. We were told when we did the finish to watch out
for that, that the finish would go 'bad' in 20-25 years. But, at the
time we did the floor we thought that time length was a long ways
Can't remember the name now, we used something like Homer Formby's
'refinisheing' Simply wipe over the surface and it did something to
the finish that repaired the floors enough to get by until we moved.
Be very careful about refinishing furniture. If the furniture has
antique value, it will destroy that value. If the furniture is in
light, then refinishing can produce a 'watery' look, where the sanding
makes the surface unlevel and the finish shines like a wind-driven
water puddle looking very bad. You've probably seen that finish
repair on the concert string basses - they look all shiney and new,
If the furniture is flat surface sand with a SOLID flat block to avoid
uneveness. Don't use electrical tools, do it by hand. It's the only
way to preserve the flatness - unless you have a milling machine that
can handle it.
Hurt the environment? Anything I personally do will only minimally
hurt the environment. It's only if the rest of you join in.
the floor? not feasible, about 2,000 sq ft cost absolutely
the furniture? perhaps, but those strippers take a long time, are very
messy, and swell the wood with their liquid bases. All a giant
headache. Again simply wiping a 'refresher' finisher over the surface
is a LOT easier. and leaves all the under details intact.
Macy may be on to something if the finish in your floors is a poly varnish.
I know for a fact - from multiple experiences - that polyurethane *FOAM*
goes bad in about 10 years, turns mushy and sticky. I don't know if poly
*VARNISH* does the same and I don't have anything with it on it that is even
10 years old let alone 25 to check but maybe so...
Hmm, I wonder if that's what Ford used as the base "cushion" for it's
leather steering wheels back in the early 90's. My, and many other
peoples, early 90's explorer steering wheels had whatever was under
the leather go soft and squishy. Some people reported black gunk
would ooze out.
I don't know if poly
Give us a hint....wood grain showing? Solid color plastic? I it is wood
with just old wax and dirt causing the stickiness, mineral spirits would
probably clean it up nicely. I would test on an inconspicuous spot
first. I recently used a magic eraser on an old gummy (waxed) wood
dresser with nice results....I get pretty brutal with old finishes
sometimes, but this was already rather dull and not perfect.
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