furniture finish

Old 02-18-01, 06:42 AM
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My daughter spilled acetone (nailpolish remover) on my new oak dining room table. I am not sure how to repair this, do I have to strip, restain, and varnish? Or can I just use something that will get the old varnish off, without removing the stain, and revarnish. I would prefer to do it this way so that I do not have to match stain color. And how do I know if it is varnish, polyurethane, or laquer? The size of the damage is approximately that of a dessert plate.
Old 02-18-01, 09:48 AM
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If it's a factory finish it's almost certain to be lacquer, but here's how to tell for sure. Dampen a rag with lacquer thinner and rub an inconspicuous spot, like the inside of a leg, high up near the table top. If the rag starts to drag or stick, stop immediately, the finish is lacquer.

Most paint/varnish removers will remove the finish only, affecting the stain very little, if any - BUT (you knew this was coming, didn't you?) some factories use what is called a toner in their finish application - that's lacquer with color added. It's purpose is to achieve a uniform color on the finished product. If your manufacturer used this, you'll remove the added color along with the finish. Unfortunately, this is a chance you're going to have to take.

Additionally, if the oak top is currently very smooth, the manufacturer probably used a paste filler, which stripping will probably disturb, if not remove entirely, neccesitating some color matching.

This may well be a job for a professional.

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