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Damage To Wood Finish

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Apr 03, 2013, 07:01 PM
sugarsuds
Damage To Wood Finish
We have maple cabinets that are finished with a type of lacquer, not just stained. The finish is starting to wear off in places - not sure if the cleaning people used something they shouldn't have, or if it was a cheap finish. Anyway, we don't want to sand them down and refinish right now. Is there something I can put on the damaged spots to make it less noticeable? I saw something called Howard's Restore-a-finish. Is that good, or is there something else? Thanks!
Apr 04, 2013, 07:46 AM
joecercone
You can try mineral oil. Make sure it is mineral oil and not vegetable oil as the latter will get sticky and rancid over time. Oil will make the bad spots look better for a short while, but for a permanent solution, you will need to have the cabinets refinished.
Apr 04, 2013, 07:46 AM
joecaption
Picture would be nice.
If the sealers worn off now the bare woods exposed and subject to oil and dirt damage which could cause staining.

Want to skip all the needed steps to do it right then just degrease them and use some wipe on poly.
Not going to last long but it should stop the staining and be able to sand off easy when your ready to refinish.


joecaption
Apr 04, 2013, 12:42 PM
swschrad
if this is really lacquer, than alcohol or lacquer thinner, clean lintless cloth, and elbow grease will remove it all. then you can refinish.

if alcohol doesn't cut the stuff down, it's a varnish. you can gin up a varnish remover, or use Formby's, but you're in the Land of Liver-Killing Solvents now, and you need several layers of nitrile golves and a 20-mph wind at your back removing it.

the usual alternative is sandpaper.

if it's polyurethane varnish, aka done in the past 20 years, you can lightly sand the surface and revarhisn. repeat at least once more for an even smooth surface.

if it's varnish, but NOT polyurethane, you may have a seedy bubbly mess putting poly over the older alkyd base. best to test this in an inconspicuous area on something you can remove and sand to the wood first.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Apr 04, 2013, 12:42 PM
sugarsuds
Thanks for the help, joecaption, joecercone and swschrad! I will try the oil first just to make it less noticeable, and if that doesn't make enough of a difference then I'll look into the wipe-on poly method. We are listing this house in the next four weeks and the realtor advised against sanding and refinishing at this point, as she didn't think the current condition of the cabinets was bad enough to affect the sale, so long as we could tone down the white spots. These cabinets are 12 years old so I suspect it's poly varnish? Thanks again!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sugarsuds,
Apr 04, 2013, 11:04 PM
joecaption
Once the oil goes on the poly will not work. It's just going to float on top of the oil.


joecaption