Give New Life To Much-Loved Antiques - June 19th 2014
Q: I have a beautiful antique table that is a cherished family heirloom. Unfortunately, someone set a glass on the top and it left a white stain. I am hoping you have a remedy to restore this lovely table.
A: Wood furniture from years gone by does not have the resistance to water that the new urethane plastic finishes of today do. Older furniture items were finished with varnish and lacquers and through the years, probably have had many coats of wax applied to keep that warm wood finish looking nice.
Placing hot or cold cups or glasses on the table can leave a white water stain because of the wax residual.
These marks are frustrating, but can be removed.
Using 0000 super-fine steel wool or 400-grit sandpaper, break the surface of the finish until it looks dusty. Make a mixture of half water and half white vinegar, and using a soft bristle brush, apply it to the area.
Let sit for one minute, then scrub with the brush and blot with a soft towel. When the stain vanishes, apply a coat of tinted-to-match carnauba- based furniture wax, available at wood finishing stores.