My son has a cherry table with a white cloudy ring on it. Apparently
his wife put a wet bowl of hot liquid on it. The only thing I know
about the table is they got it from an "Amish" furniture store and the
instructions with it said to never use anything other than lemon oil on
it - which didn't help this. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to
remove the ring? (Other than with a saber saw!) Thanks.
Where I grew up the Amish considered naturally finished wood to be
Painting it made it plain. If an Amish family moved into a house with
naturally finished wood trim or paneling they painted it.
Quite possible the Amish you know have different rules.
Try a wee dab of varsol on the cloudy part. Work it around in little
circles on a clean rag. Chances are it's only in the wax buildup
and the varsol will remove the wax. Inside the house, use the low
odor stuff (also called low odor solvent). Rewaxing /polishing may
The finish is probably nitrocellulose lacquer. The nitro has a very
high affinity for water, which what gives us those nice, milky rings.
I live on the edge of Amish territory in SE PA, and lemme tell you, what
they do for themselves and what they do for "the English" are not always
the same. One of the most high-tech cabinet shops in the area is Amish.
His spray booths are about three stories tall and have a water mist
on the walls. I buy from the same finish supplier, and I guar-ron-tee
they're shooting nitro lacquer, especially on the furniture they re-sell
(don't build it; strictly a plywood box shop).
How to fix the problem? Well, I don't have direct experience with that;
I don't use nitro on tables for this very reason (low tolerance of heat,
too -- don't set hot coffee cups on it, either). You might try spotting
the stain with a bit of lacquer thinner. If the product wasn't
catalyzed, that might do it. Sorta like using alcohol to soften a
dinged shellac film.
Failing that, you may have to strip the top and re-finish. You might
also check with a high-end kitchen cabinet dealer/shop (NOT HD or Lowes)
and see if their finish guys have any suggestions.
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