Black Sticky Residue on Wooden Chairs

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Old 08-17-09, 11:18 AM
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Black Sticky Residue on Wooden Chairs

I bought table and chairs from Used Furniture store. The chairs had some black discoloration that I thought gave them character and looked rustic. However, it turns out to be a black, sticky, residue that sticks to clothes after sitting for a while. Any idea what this might be or how to remove it?
 
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Old 08-17-09, 12:48 PM
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First thing to try is mineral spirits aka paint thinner (NOT remover).Mineral spirits will remove grease,grime,oils,polish residues and so forth without damaging the actual finish.This will tell you if you have a more serious situation or not.
 
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Old 08-17-09, 01:03 PM
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Sounds like it could just be old shellac if its all over the entire piece.. and if they are old enough to have been shellac finished.

Use a bit of alcohol in a non visible spot an see if it removes the finish. If it does, its shellac.

Otherwise, its probably just dirt and body oils that have embedded in and possibly softened and discolored the old finish as david said. Cleaning should take care of it..but you will lose the character of it. Only real wear from years of use (with proper care) will give the same look.
 
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Old 08-17-09, 03:51 PM
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Cleaned it some

I don't have any Mineral Spirits, but I do some some Lacquor Thinner. So I gave the Lac Thinner a try in a small spot. It worked very well. Then I used it on a larger spot. I like the result, nice smooth non-sticky wood. However, the cleaned wood is very light. So I may have to do this over all the chairs. After closer inspection, most of the chair is covered in this dark, sticky stuff. My guess is that it probably is old shellac and has just gotten nasty with age. I'll clean it up the best I can with the Lac Thinner and be done with it for now so my clothes don't stick to it. Then I can slowly work on them to make them look nicer. Thanks!
 
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Old 08-17-09, 05:57 PM
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NO NO NO lacquer thinner is NOT the same stuff and may damage the finish and could make the situation worse! Go somewhere and buy the right product!

LT is a mix of strong solvents......do not put it on your furniture!

And the alcohol GG mentioned is denatured alcohol not rubbing alcohol.It is sold at hardware stores and paint stores.
 
 

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