Nail Polish Remover Ruined Table Finish

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Nail Polish Remover Ruined Table Finish

Post by Guest »

My daughter spilled nail polish remover onto my kitchen table. It is a modern table, not an antique. The remover created a rectangular, milky white "stain." I need to repair the damage but I'm unsure how to approach the repair work. Should I try to repair only the damaged area or do I need to strip the entire tabletop. If I refinish the entire tabletop, should I use another stripper, or should I strip the rest of the tabletop with nail polish remover first to create an even surface look. Because of the whitish stain, I don't know if the polish remover has removed the oak stain as well as the clear finish. Can you assist me with this dilemma?

Tom
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Bob Boardman
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Post by Bob Boardman »

Tom

Chances are the entire top needs to be re-done.

Having said that here's something to try: wipe the spot with paint thinner. If the color/look comes back, you may not have to strip the top, but could get by applying a coat of finish to the entire top.

If that doesn't work, get a stripper with methylene chloride in it and follow directions on can. I like to rub the surface with an 80 grit paper prior to applying the stripper. All you're trying to do with the sandpaper is put some scratches in the finish to help the stripper. Don't rub too hard - you don't want to put scratches into the wood.

When the finish is stripped off, wash the surface down with paint thinner. This will show you how the top will look with just a clear finish, AND will highlight any areas in which there's still old finish (simply apply stripper to those areas to get them down to bare wood.)

Depending on the type of wood and color of the stain, there are a number of different options for coloring the wood. Do you know what type of wood it is; also, is it a light or dark stain?
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tomfromauburn

Nail Polish Remover Ruined Table Finish

Post by tomfromauburn »

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the information. I'm going to try your suggestions this weekend. I'm not sure the type of wood, I think it is oak. It has a light oak stain. I'll keep you apprised of my efforts.
Tom
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Post by tomfromauburn »

Hi Bob,

I would like to follow up on this old post. I refinished the kitchen table last spring but I have encountered a problem with the top coat. I stripped the surface down to the bare wood, stained the wood, and applied about 3 coats of Minwax Fast-Drying gloss polyurethane. I sanded inbetween coats with 0000 steel wool. The finish doesn't look good at all. I have wavy lines throughout the finish. And, shortly thereafter the finish coat is coming off in some areas. One elongated area is down to the bare wood while other circular areas resemble a loosening of the top one or two layers only. I applied the polyurethane in less than ideal conditions. I worked on the table in my basement with the basement door open to the night air, and it was chilly outside. Is there a way I can salvage the finishing job without too much trouble? I really can't start over because it took me a long time to match the affected top of the table with the sides and pedestal legs. Can I sand down the top coat and reapply it while it is in the kitchen? Please give me some advice!

Sincerely,
Tom
Rick Mosher
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Post by Rick Mosher »

You might try wiping with denatured alcohol, It works sometimes but with nail polish remover you may be out of luck...
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Post by Zeeman »

Tom,

Wiping the table with denatured alcohol may not be a good idea, and may cause more harm.

Some guys have all the luck huh? If the finish is peeling off, then adhesion is the issue. You may have left some residue from the stripper, causing the problem. Gloss oil poly is a tough finish, but needs a good "bite" into the surface to hold on to. Can you post a digital picture of the table? In the meantime, try putting a piece of duct tape on the surface, rub hard and yank off. Crazy as it sounds, you may be able to pull off the whole poly coat and start over, with a few modifications to your finish schedule. . . let us know and we will help you recover. . . .
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Post by DesertDave »

Tom,

Tim is right, your topcoat needs a good bite to hang on to. 0000 Steel wool for sanding between coats is too fine. Typically #0000 is used for polishing or rubbing out a finish to remove minor imperfections in your topcoat. If your going to sand in between coats of Poly you should use a 220 grit sand paper to "lightly" sand between coats. After you have completed the sanding, its good to wipe the project down with a "clean" rag soaked in Napatha or Mineral Spirits to remove all the dust from the sanding grooves you just made. This will allow the Poly to bite into the previous coat. This also should only be down after you know the top coat has thouroughly dried completely. The more humidity in the air the longer the finish takes to dry.
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