Motor oil & pine

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Stan Adams
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Motor oil & pine

Postby Stan Adams » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:29 pm

Can you advise how I might remove motor oil stains from an old pine box. This is not a valuable piece however is worth an attempt at refinishing.

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Bob Boardman
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Postby Bob Boardman » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:12 pm

Stan

This is virtually impossible to do...but all is not lost.

I have an old oak table that was used in a garage to hold oil cans and oil change equip. I've had it for 20 years, and over time have tried everything from cornstarch covering to "suck out" the oil, to high heat with paint thinner or TSP baths, to dip stripping, to sanding, etc.

In the end, the only way to get a "uniform" finish on the piece was to wipe down all surfaces with motor oil and place the piece in the summer sun for about 10 days. The result is unbelievable grain "pop" and chatoyence.

Here are some pics of the piece. As you can see, it's not all bad. The basic problem is that motor oil seeps deep into the wood fiber. Stripping only removes the surface oil. In about a week oils starts filling in the surface pores again. On the plus side, the surface isn't oily to the touch, nor does it smell. In terms of protection - nothing, absolutely nothing stains it. Any stains you see on the piece are from the garage. In the end, I think they add some "character" to the piece, and give me a great little story

I know this isn't the answer you're looking for, but hope it gives you some ideas.

Good Luck
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Bob "Boardman" Borders

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Post received via email & placed here

Postby admin » Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:00 pm

I received this post as an email;

Thanks for the response and the clever idea.

Given that about only 1/3 of the surface is affected and the dark stain deep seated, I've been playing with the idea af simply painting it black and doing a distress finish. The concern with this approach is to insure that the paint actually adheres to the oil stained area.

Do you have any advice if I were to do this?

Kindest regards, Stan

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Bob Boardman
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Postby Bob Boardman » Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:07 pm

Try a product called Sealcoat that's shellac based. If anything will adhere to this it's shellac, since the solvent for shellac is alcohol, and alcohol mixes well with both water and oil .
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Stan Adams
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Postby Stan Adams » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:33 pm

Thanks for the advice.

I'll give that a try.

Stan


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