We had permanent marker on our expensive oak tabletop. My wife used nail varnish remover to remove it, but it's now left 3 dull marks on the table. How do we repair this to make it look right again?
By GAZB from UK
A professional would sand it down to bare wood and start over. If you can't do that, then first you have to find out if the oak is oiled, varnished, lacquered or has a plastic / epoxy coating.
If it is oiled, get some Swedish Furniture Oil and let some soak into the dull spots, then wipe the whole table down with it.
If it is varnish, you will need to find some old fashioned, turpentine based spar varnish. Dab some on sparingly and wipe it with a cloth. Repeat the next day and the day after. The trick is to build it up slowly to the right level and shine.
It probably is not a lacquer or a two component epoxy, but if it is, it will always look a bit different, no matter what you do. In that case you might as well rent a belt sander and sand down the top. Never move the sander in the direction of the belt. It will gouge! Always move it at a right or almost right angle to the belt, and if possible in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Then use an oak filler and lightly sand it after it is dry, and top it with your choice of finish. My personal choice is old fashioned spar varnish. Have fun! (08/26/2009)
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