Restoring a cabinet

Have a questions on finishing, refinishing, or restoring <br />wood furniture or cabinetry? This is the place to ask!

Moderators: AsonnyA, Bob Boardman

Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:44 pm

Restoring a cabinet

Postby mokablat » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:01 pm

Got this cabinet and I want to resotre it, has marks from glasses or plants that used to be on the top some scatches and maybe water damage. I am a newbie, can your recommened if this needs a compleate chemical strippping and refurbshing with some type of teak oil mineral spirtis or something similar. Or maybe there is a way to restore without complete stripping.
What should I look out for and where to be carful?


User avatar
Bob Boardman
Refinish/Repair Wiz
Refinish/Repair Wiz
Posts: 1825
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 5:03 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Restoring a cabinet

Postby Bob Boardman » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:54 am

I don't think the piece is worth the time/trouble/cost to strip, but here's somethings to try, in order of cost or difficulty.

1) Easiest and cheapest. I don't see any dark/black stains, so that means the water damage is in the finish, not in the wood. Get product called Howard's Restora-Finish. It comes in a variety of colors/shades and is available in hardware or paint shops. Apply a couple coats following instructions on can. This should revitalize surface, remove water spots, re-color some minor scratches

2) If some of the water spots still show up, try the techniques in the following order, until the marks are removed:
• Apply an oily substance, such as petroleum jelly or mayonnaise,to the damaged area and allow it to remain overnight. The oil will often restore some of the transparency by displacing the water (oil being lighter than water).
• Heat the finish with a blow dryer.
Use a medium setting and don't stay in one place too long. The heat can cause moisture to evaporate. Avoid getting the finish any hotter than is comfortable to touch.
• Dampen a cloth with denatured alcohol (not rubbing alcohol) and wipe gently over the damaged area. Wipe using a motion like a plane coming in for a landing and taking right off. The trick is to dampen the cloth just enough so it leaves the appearance of a comet’s tail of evaporating alcohol trailing as you wipe.

3) For this approach DO NOT PERFORM STEP 1.
• Do perform step 2 first. Then wipe down all surfaces with denatured alcohol. Don't use rubbing alcohol because it has water in it. Use a bunch of clean rags when doing this. Next, get a gel stain that is close to the color of the piece. Apply the gel stain to all surfaces following directions on the can. This should give you a uniform look on all surfaces.
• If there are deep scratches, wait 24 hours after the gel stain has been applied. Then go to an Art Supply store and buy a crayon that's same color as the piece. Rub the crayon over deep scratches until close to level. Then use a credit card to level it off. Remove any excess with clean rag.
• In a well ventilated area, following directions on the can, get a can of a spray poly finish in whatever sheen you prefer. Spray surface using several light applications, following recoat instructions on can.
• Let piece sit untouched overnight (2 nights is better). Then apply a coat of paste wax (not spray wax/polish). You should now be done
Bob "Boardman" Borders

Return to “Q&A Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests