Can someone tell me how to refinish a large mahogany dining room table? The varnish is very badly marked. It has huge cloudy sections caused by warm food bowls, plates, and occasionally spilled liquids. I want to be able to use the table without a cloth over it. It is beautiful wood. Can I just remove the varnish, and simply sand and oil it, without using another varnish (that would just get ruined)? Any suggestions?
I've had good luck using denatured alcohol. Apply the denatured alcohol with steel wool, rubbing with the grain of the wood, then clean the table, let it dry and sand it with fine sanding paper. (07/29/2008)
By Patty Lynn
You could try Dave's trick for getting rid of white spots on varnished furniture, it would be worth a try before refinishing it:
Iron and a Cloth
Keep it simple, quick and clean. It may sound counter-intuitive, but just use a hot iron on dry heat and a dishtowel. Place a soft cotton dishtowel over the area of the tabletop containing the heat ring(s) and apply the iron to the towel surface, moving the iron over the affected area. With sufficient heat, in about 20-30 seconds, the rings will disappear like magic! Gets rid of the accidental grey coffee mug rings from my cherry dining table (that even form through the tablecloth) every time! (03/18/2006)
By Dave (07/29/2008)
First wipe with white spirit, then sand it with 00 grade fine steel wool or a sanding machine. Then add wood dye stain in mahogany color. Finish with shellac or beeswax several coats; allow to dry between each one, or after the staining finish with varnish which will protect it. (07/30/2008)
Try the Following:
Take a well-washed old cotton T-shirt. Proceed to tear it into several large pieces. Fold one of the pieces to make a wrinkle-free ball about the size of a small egg. Cover this with a larger piece of the T-shirt fabric. Gather the excess material at the back. Dampen the inner piece of fabric with a little bit of denatured alcohol. Swipe the pad which you have created across the damaged areas. This should remove the cloudiness from the finish. Assuming that this takes are of the problem, finish with a high quality paste wax.
Here are a few points of caution. First, use only enough denatured alcohol to make the pad only about as damp as a health dog's nose. Also, don't allow the pad to rest on the surface or it may very well stick. Lastly, use only anhydrous alcohol. Rubbing alcohol, for instance, contains too much water to be effective. In fact, it will likely cause further cloudiness in the finish. Finally, unless you are a very experienced refinisher, use steel wool only as a last resort. It's very easy to wear through an old finish using steel wool. I hope that this helps you. (08/06/2008)
Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!