Novice Question: Refinishing Inlaid Veneer Table

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Old 06-01-12, 12:29 PM
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Novice Question: Refinishing Inlaid Veneer Table

I am a complete woodworking/craftsman novice and I have found myself in a predicament and I want to try and fix it myself.

I have an inlaid veneer table that I spilled 100% acetone on in two places. For the first spot the bottle of acetone was left on the table overnight and apparently some leaked and it dissolved the finish and some of the underlying stain. The second spot was a superficial spill that only removed some layers of the finish and not the stain.

Anyway, I would like to try and refinish the table top but I am afraid I may be in over my head. As you can see in the picture the inlay in the center is a different color (it is much lighter) than the outer pieces. I am wondering if these pieces were originally stained with different stains before being inlaid. If I removed the stain and finish would I be able to use one stain for the entire top or would I be forced to use multiple stains to restore it to it's original appearance?

Secondly, the outer edges of the table are darkened (it looks as if it were painted black). I guess my question is: are the edges painted to make that appearance?

I figured if I used a stripping agent I could easily remove the finish and stain and redo everything to restore it to its original glory but I am afraid it will be harder than I think. Is there a way to remove only the finish and leave the stain, or am I stuck removing both layers?

Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Pictures can be seen here: Table pictures by sparsel1 - Photobucket
 
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Old 06-01-12, 01:03 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Often pieces like that have the same stain [or no stain] over the entire piece. Using different types of wood give the different colors. I'd be inclined to take a little acetone and try and clean up the worst areas [where the can set] With a little luck you might be able to get it to blend enough to refinish without having to strip the entire top.
 
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Old 06-01-12, 01:15 PM
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So it would be possible to just refinish the problem areas and not the entire top? I just assumed I would have to refinish the entire table in order to keep everything even. Are you suggesting to just use the acetone to remove the finish in that area and then just re-apply finish once it has dried and been cleaned?

As I said I have never done anything like this before. How would I choose the appropriate finish? Just a clear satin finish and then sand over to smooth it to blend with the rest?
 
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Old 06-01-12, 02:00 PM
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Not exactly, You need to get the marred finished blended either by sanding or wiping with acetone. With a little care, you might be able to use the acetone to melt and buff the marred finish and get it where it's not so noticeable. You'd then let it dry [won't take long] sand lightly with 220 grit sandpaper, wipe off any sanding dust and then coat the entire top with poly.
 
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Old 06-01-12, 03:01 PM
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Okay. I see what you are saying. This would definitely work for the superficial areas but do you think it would work well for the spot where the bottle was sitting? It is rather deep and I think I would have to buff it down pretty far and it may create a dip in the area. I guess I can always try it and then if it doesn't look right, refinish the entire surface.

My big fear is having to redo the whole surface and losing the original color. I will cross that bridge when I come to it though. I will go ahead and try to blend it and see what happens. Thank you so much for the advice!
 
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Old 06-01-12, 03:17 PM
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The dip won't be as deep as you think, where the can sat it raised part of the finish as it melted it. Normally the finish on wood isn't all that thick.
 
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