If your friends or family just can’t get it through their heads to use coasters when putting hot cups of coffee or containers of food on your wooden coffee table, grab a towel, some olive oil, and a standard clothes iron to get rid of those ugly white heat stains. If you go that route there are a few important things to know: You must must must test it first on a hidden portion of the table to be sure it won’t damage the wood; you must work in a ventilated area and use protective gloves; when applying mineral spirits, use a soft cloth and wipe with the grain of the wood, then wipe the product off immediately with a clean, soft cloth dampened with water and dry the table immediately.
If that method still doesn’t work, try some of the suggestions in the Additional Tips section (rubbing alcohol, SOS pads, etc.). You could also try using makeup remover or cigarette ash, as described in the article, How to Remove Hair Dye from Skin Keep in mind though that you should always test a cleaning solution on a hidden area of an item first to look for any adverse reaction.
Hi Angie – If you want to paint the piece, not use black stain on it, you do not have to remove all the poly, but you do need to sand the surface to provide some tooth” so the paint has something to adhere to. You mentioned the piece has a lot of poly on it. If this is so, when painted over…you may see all the imperfections in the level of the poly.
Note, in my original pic of the supplies, I planned on using Minwax Wipe On Poly which I absolutely love for stained furniture, and also used with great success on my staircase makeover At the last minute (and since this was a tabletop) I substituted non yellowing Deft Clear Wood Finish which my friend Layla also used for her whitewashed dining room table Deft also states the protectant is baby safe” but not sure what that means and also alcohol, fruit juice, and water resistant”.
Then, remove the excess filler with a plastic scraper or a smooth, round-edged putty knife. A third choice may be heat guns, but any of these processes have to be used carefully to avoid damage to the furniture. Test any of these methods on a section of the wood not visible before attempting to remove the stain. Most commonly from a hot coffee cup or from water left on the surface for a long time.
If water or other liquids spill on wood, Cornell Cooperative Extension recommends quickly reaching for a towel to wipe clean the surface. Follow with an application of furniture oil or polish that does not cause a waxy build-up or has silicones, such as Guardsman or Heritage. White stains occur when water penetrates the surface of the furniture—the finish—but not into the actual wood itself. This process uses the heat of an iron to transfer the water stain’s moisture from the wood to dry cloths. If that does not remove the stain, or if it goes beyond the surface, it will take a bit more time and elbow grease to get it out.
For example, you can mix 50/50 toothpaste and baking soda and rub in, make a paste of salt and olive oil and let it sit for up to an hour, mix 50/50 vinegar and olive oil and rub, use straight toothpaste, make a paste with baking soda and a few drops of water or rub some Vaseline into the mark and leave it overnight. No more white marks 🙂 Make sure you use the iron on medium heat with NO STEAM!
Note that even products labeled as pure” tung oil can be polymerized and have different drying and penetrating behavior than pure, unadulterated tung oil. To remove comparatively new and less severe marks, place a blotting paper on the stained area and heat it with a hot iron. With a bit of practise and sharp scrapers, it comes off right back to the wood in a few passes.
I love my RH table but have come to a very real acceptance that I am choosing for it to be that raw, unfinished, unperfect look. My first staining project of my dining room table Â was a nightmare, and I felt horrible that it wasn’t turning out at I had expected it to. I eventually just had to accept it the way it was, and I ended up LOVING it. But no staining job is going to look perfect when you’re starting out. To treat small local staining – for instance on a coffee table – there are many other alternative methods to treat water rings.
Keep following the same process but be sure to let the stain dry between coats so you can gauge what it looks like before deciding whether to add another coat. A lot of old finishes were applied with a multi-layer” process or were sprayed on with the stain mixed in with the finish. To remove cloudiness, rub surface with cloth dipped in solution of one tablespoon of vinegar mixed with one quart of water.
Traditional heat guns produce intense heat, so use caution not to char the wood or burn your skin. It will also remove any tiny raised fibers, making the piece appear smooth and clean. Preheat the iron to a warm setting (start lower and work your way up as starting with too much heat can lead to additional damage). Then you’ll be researching How to Repair Wood Furniture” because of all the nicks! I’ve had the same trestle table in the original raw finish for over a year now.
I have refinished MANY MCM pieces over the years and feel like I have developed a pretty good process.” Just do a search” for mid century” on my site…you will find many of the projects I have worked on over the years…my Lane Acclaim tables, television cabinet , barrel chairs , office chair , coffee table ……and sooooo much more! If mineral spirits doesn’t work, gently wipe the stain using a soft rag lightly dampened with denatured alcohol.
When the stain is completely gone, wipe over the area with a clean cloth moistened with plain water to rinse away any residue from the cleaning products used. After a few hours is up, just apply some water with a sponge in order to remove the bleach completely. It isn’t necessary to apply more than one coat to most woods, but the extra effort can take your wood from looking good to looking great. Following the grain of the wood, scrub with a stiff brush until the stain is removed.
If the stain remains, don’t despair – you might not be able to reverse the whitening effect of the bleach, but you can cover it up. For small stains, try using a commercial carpet repair kit (follow the instructions on the label), or use a fabric pen to re-colour the area. Once you do manage to remove all the product then the Osmo Polyx Oil is ideal for you oak door.
Also, for me personally, I like the texture” of wood grain…poly tends to have a plastic” look rather than allowing the texture of the wood to really shine! So for Thanksgiving I placed it on the table and covered it with a nice tablecloth and you never knew it was under there. When you do get white rings appearing, this is a sign that the finish is wearing out and losing its ability to repel moisture. You can add normal tap water, which is what I have always used, or use distilled water.
There are lots of tips floating around about how to clean these marks off, some a bit safer for your wood floors and furniture than others. Wherever possible, reduce the chemical’s corrosive properties by diluting it with cold water – hot water can interfere with its germ-killing properties. Oil and grease stains that have penetrated the surface of unfinished wood are cleaned using tetrachloride, a dry cleaning spot remover. I tried dish soap and water and scrubbed with two different brushes as well rags and paper towels but that didn’t work. Note: wood bleach will absolutely and completely return the wood to its initial near-white state.
After the final coat of stain has thoroughly dried, apply polyurethane according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Whether you have an all-wood piece of furniture or a furnishing made of a mix of wood, manmade wood and wood veneer, you want to protect it from damage, maintain its perfect finish and keep it looking beautiful for years to come. Once the piece is free of the old finish and has had time to dry, you’re ready to sand the wood.
Finally, many products are available that treat wood while cleaning it. These products, while effective for painted, sealed, and laminated wood surfaces, should be tested in an inconspicuous place on unsealed or oiled woods before trying. Only the manufacturers know for sure because tung oil is not hazardous and therefore doesn’t need to be reported on an MSDS.