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Water marks on fitted veneered study furniture

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by patagonia, 16 Jun 2011.

  1. matz

    matz

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    well it didnt stop me and dec commenting......

    however if a photo brings your advice into the thread, it'' be worth waiting for....
     
  2. patagonia

    patagonia

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    No, it's not shellac. Looks like a satin finish polyurethan varnish/sealer, Ronseal or similar.


    Why can't I do it myself? I have some meths in the cupboard and some 0000 wire wool somewhere, used when I resurfaced a table. It wouldn't occur to me to slosh it on to the top; I'd dip a small pad of wool lightly into a saucer of meths or just put a pad of meths on the bottle top and tip a little on and then rub very gently in the direction of the grain. Is there more to it than that? I couldn't say that they are all light water marks however. One is a largeish rectangle which is a lot lighter than the rest of the top; perhaps from a wet sponge or porous plant container.
     
  3. patagonia

    patagonia

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    I noticed that when our (now ex) decorator had rubbed down the walls, some of the angle beads were down to the bare metal. Am I right in thinking that these are supposed to be primed with something before painting with emulsion? Needless to say, he didn't do this and one can see a dark line under his over-thinned emulsion.
     
  4. matz

    matz

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    ok, I'll try and help you here...

    Firstly, dont be distracted by previous comments that say this way is rubbish - its not. I go into houses and remove white marks, water marks and some heat marks using this method and charge for it - the people pay me, so it obviosuly must work ;)

    This method will not work on all surfaces or on all marks so you have to kind of test it to see if it will work.

    You need meths and 0000 wire wool. make sure it really is 0000. Also, Liberon's 0000 is finer than normal 0000 but you may not be able to get hold of that. The finer the better as the wire wool abrades the finish and you want to keep that to the minimum for obvious reasons.

    Get two seperate small pads of the wire wool (tennis ball size or a bit smaller) get the meths bottle and wet one wire wool pad with meths so the wire wool is wet but not soaked through and dripping. Then get the 2nd pad of wire wool and just touch it on the wet meths on the other w/w - now you have w/w which has a touch of meths on - damp not wet. Get that 2nd w/w pad and start with the first mark on the polish which is most out of sight. Rub the edge of the mark with the damp w/w with the grain starting light pressure and go increasingly firm pressure if the w/w does not make the polish sticky. What you are trying to do is rub away the tinyest film of polish to the surface that in turn will remove the mark. If the mark will remove in this way, you will see that happening very quickly as you are rubbing. The thicker the finish the more you can rub. Once the mark is removing, move across the mark removing it as you go esnuring the 2nd pad is moist not wet with meths (recharge by dabbing against the other w/w. Working this way, its often possible to remove a mark from a polished finish. Once the mark is removed, you will have a dull area. Wait 60 mins after removing and then rub over that dulled area with dry 0000 wire wool feathering the small dulled area into a wider and bigger area. Often you will need to wire wool down the whole top so as to blend in any localised dullness. Once dulled, wax whole top with furniture paste wax.

    problems you may incur

    1. polished surface goes sticky quickly (shellac or spirit based finish being disolved by the your meths)
    2. polished surface is so thin, you rub through it to the wood and end up with a bare patch possibly taking away any stained finish in the process making the patch lighter as well
    3. the method described just does not work (in which case you need to strip and refinish the whole top
    4. the method removes some of the mark and makes it less obvious (a compromise and better than stripping and refinishing)
    5. theres also issues with doing this on matt or high gloss finishes. On gloss finishes, you may need to burnish the dull patch on matt finishes you may need to involve a very fine abrasive paper (1200g) or pumice etc but thats going down other roads.

    On entcountering the above, its the experience of the user that overcomes!

    Hope the longwinded notes above help - go slowly and steady and keep it under control, test a tiny bit thats out of the way first before committing to the rest. If you try it and fail at the start, post back and I'll try and assist.

    Good luck :D
     
  5. TheDec

    TheDec

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    Providing that the Galvanised coating on the beads is intact another coat of Emulsion may hide them yet I think it always better to apply a thinned coat of oil based undercoat first.

    Dec
     
  6. joe-90

    joe-90

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    Go to your local Halfords or Car factors and buy a small tin of 'rubbing compound'. Leave the wire wool in the box - it's way too coarse. You can use the rubbing compound on your door knobs too (other thread).
     
  7. patagonia

    patagonia

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    Thanks for going to so much trouble, Matz. I tried your method. Seemed to be removing the stain but left a white powdery residue when dry so I wiped that off with a soft cloth with a tiny bit of white spirit, going over the whole top and immediately rubbing with a soft towel. Looked great, so after a while I applied the only beeswax polish I had in the house. Looked great. This morning, white stains back again. Back to the drawing board.
     
  8. matz

    matz

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    ok, first thing to say is just because it hasnt worked for you doesnt mean it won't work. Pick one of these marks again that is perhaps toward the back of the top and out of the way. Try the meths thing again using the meths a bit wetter and rubbing harder with the wire wool. All but the most stubborn marks come out or reduce doing this method. When I say rub hard I mean press almost as hard as you can at the edge of the mark with the w/w lubricated by the meths and try and abrade that mark out. Make sure you rub the meths dry (dont leave it wet on the surface) Get rid of white powdery with dry 0000w/w. Dont use white spirits anywhere as it give a false idea of whats happening. Beauty of meths is it evapourates fast as you go whereas white spirit takes 15 mins to dry off. See if you can sort one small mark before going further. You may have on those jobs where this won't work - I cannot tell, but give it another go. If the polish is going sticky at all or if you feel you are going through the polish to the wood, you need to give up and stop......your top really needs stripping and refinishing by the sounds of it - this is a last ditch chance to prevent that so little to lose....

    edit
    theres a very fine balance between being succesful and ballsing it up, thats where the skill comes in!!
     
  9. patagonia

    patagonia

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    Unfortunately, all the marks are in prominent positions. You keep talking about polish but as I said previously. it's been varnished/sealed with a light coloured or possibly clear satin finish product. Nothing appeared to be dissolving. If I rub too hard and remove the varnish/seal. I'll have to do the whole surface and revarnish. I think the grain of the veneer will lift if I get it too wet.
     
  10. patagonia

    patagonia

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    P.S. What the meths did work like magic on was the splatter of black ink the top had in one place. I never thought anything would get that out.
     
  11. joe-90

    joe-90

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    It sounds like acrylic varnish to me. You won't fix it. Strip it and apply fresh.
     
  12. matz

    matz

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    ok, I think you've come to the end of the road with this. I'm not saying it cant be done but you need someone who knows. You're doing the right thing by being cautious and not going beyond comfort zone! Good to hear about the black marks though :)

    Was this furniture shop bought or did you have it made to measure by a local guy?

    PS the term polish is generic really - I could equally call it a finish...
     
  13. patagonia

    patagonia

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    It's all fitted so I presume made to measure for previous owners by a firm specialising in office furniture, probably using set modules and a top cut to size, like a new kitchen. Unfortunately, he has just died so I can't find out which firm. Might ring one or two and pick their brains. Thanks for yr help, anyway.
     
  14. TheDec

    TheDec

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    If the water staining had not penetrated the surface coating they could have been rendered almost impossible to be seen with naked eye by using a non abrasive substance, it is obvious now that they have gone deeper and removal will be impossible. There is a technique using the mentioned grade of wire wool and a high wax polish to both denib and enhance the shine of a polished surface yet any form with regard to the use of the wool and meths in your situation simply wont work.

    Meths is indeed a very good cleaning agent and is widely used within the french polishing and furniture restoration side of the trade. Seeing as the stain has formed below the surface coating it has now become impossible to remove and you will need to re-surface the table.

    Dec
     
  15. Natineah

    Natineah

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    Well, because veneer is only a thin layer of wood attached with glue to a solid base, it is very vulnerable to damage on wood furniture. On old furniture, the glue that holds the veneer is often not water-resistant. Prolonged humidity or exposure to water can soften the glue, letting the veneer blister, crack, or peel. Great tips!
     
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