About 30 years ago, my father-in-law had a table professionally
refinished. It's a large solid oak dining room table, with a 54" round
top and massive center legs.
The job was beautifully done. To protect the newly refinished top, my
mother-in-law immediately covered it with a tablecloth. But the
tablecloth she chose had a light foam rubber backing, black color. It
reacted with the new finish somehow, because when the tablecloth was
removed, the foam remained.
Everyone was just sick about it, because this table has been around for
a very long time, and is considered a family heirloom. From then on,
the table was always kept covered.
Fast forward to today. My wife and I have become the owners of the
table. I would like to remove the old foam. Any advice on how to do
it? I'm hoping to find a method that's gentle but effective. Even
though the foam has been stuck on for a long time, it's still possible
to remove a small area of it with a fingernail. I'm thinking about
warming it slightly with a heat gun and gently scraping. Maybe there
are better alternatives, though.
Unfortunately, I don't know what type of finish was used. I'm assuming
it was varnish of some kind, but I can't be sure. It does not look
like an oil finish (I've used Waterlox on some past projects, and this
finish doesn't seem comparable). And also, I can't try it on an
inconspicuous place first, because only the very top of the table was
affected. The rest of it is still beautiful.
It would be worth stripping and refinishing completely if there's no
other way, but I'd like to avoid that if possible. Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance.