Upgrading finish on dining table


Old 12-01-08, 08:17 PM
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Upgrading finish on dining table

I have recently purchased a dining room set which was a floor model. There are minor scratch and "buff" marks on the table which I want to remove. I had thiught about using 400 grit emery paper or fine steel wool, but would appreciate some guidance.


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Old 12-02-08, 05:54 AM
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Emery paper is made for metal - not wood finishes.

You can rub out most marks with 0000 steel wool, using a light oil (any cooking oil will do) as a lubricant.

Follow with Turtle wax polishing compound and scratch remover - available in most automotive stores. This will remove the abrasion marks left by the steel wool.

Rub with the grain using the steel wool. Wipe clean ever so often to check your progress.
Old 12-03-08, 06:20 AM
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what finish

hi check what kind of finish is on your table before sanding or buffing anything. try this on the bottom of your table

varnish and poly will soften with mineral spirits
nitro celluse lacquer will soften with lacquer thinner
shellac will soften with denatured alcohal
reins and other epoxy type finishes will soften with acetone

why is this important?

if the top has been stained ( like walnut or rosewood stain over pine ) or cherry or walnut stained for color ( very common ) when you sand the scratch you will change the color of your top in that one spot.

so, what to do. once you determine the type of finish you can check a small spot underneath the top and soften the finish and see if it has been stained, distressed, etc. if not then soften the scratch with a little solvent and see if that doesn't remove it. Use a q-tip and dont use a lot of solvent. if you are real lucky it will be lacquered in which case just spray a little lacqer thinner on the scratch and let it dry.

oh yeah, one more thing. beware rubbing a table top that is glossy because your sanding will make it matte in that spot. if you really have to sand it for some inner woodworking itch i suggest milsek oil and 1200 grit sandpaper.

if these scatches are from cleaning the top dry or dusty just get some pearl polish ( mohawk has a great product ) and a electric buffer and it will come right out. rubbing and polishing compounds are abrasive. so beware.

good luck
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