Recently I spilt a small amount of water on my wood dining room table.
I am not sure what kind of wood or what type of treatment the table
has. This happend about 1 week ago. Now, when I look at the table it
looks cloudy in that area, a type of film.
What would be the best way to treat this? something that would be
Oh boy is this any open ended question. But here goes -
You didn't mention how long the water remained on the table top.
If it dried via evaporation and you have hard water it could just
be hard water residue. Four O steel wool, rubbed GENTLY followed
by some soft cloth rubbing might do it.
If you want to err on the side of caution - leave it be for a month
and the moisture that got into the finish may evaporate out. If
the water spot bothers you - put a CLOTH place mat or napkin
over it. Works for shellac assuming it wasn't a lot of water and it
only got into just the surface coat.
Was the finish ultra shiney - ie grand piano shiney? (lacquer /
Was the finish shiney - ie formal dining table? (shellac or poly)
Was the finish semi-shiney" - ie "country" dining table? (oil finish)
Find a finished area of the table that's not normally seen.
Dampen a Qtip in each of the following and see wich one(s)
softens or dissolves the finish
Paint Thinner (oil based or water based varnish or poly)
Denatured Alcohol (shellac)
Lacquer thinner (lacquer)
Let the spots you tested dry. If it wrinkles it's probably an
oil base, if not - it's probably not oil based.
Be aware/beware. Poly and most oil based finishes require
mechanical bonding between coats - ie sand between coats
to get a little "tooth" to hold the next layer to the previous
layer. Sanding through one or more coats to remove a
flaw will leave "witness marks" - you will see the edges of
the layers you sanded through. These "witness marks"
will show through any transparent or translucent finish
you apply over them. With "hot" finishes, like shellac and
lacquer, each coat dissolves a little of the prior coat, forming
a continuous finish that's easier to repair.
You might also go to www.woodcentral, get to the Finishing
group and ask there.
If a little spilled water on the finish for a very short time
caused clouding of the finish - I'd skip toothpaste - which
has more water in it AND is abrassive. Adding an oil
and egg emulsion doesn't seem a good idea either.
There's a good possibility that the clouding is occuring
in a wax finish on top of the underlying more durable
finish. Do you know if the table top was waxed or have
your waxed it? If so, try rubbing the area with a wax
"polish". Most have a solvent in them which dissolves
some of the previous layer - and maybe the "cloud".
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