What damaged my tabletop and how do I fix it?
#11
  
   

Good evening, all.  I'm looking for a little help and it seems like people here know their stuff on woodworking!

A couple of years ago I made a hickory dining table for our rental home in the Caribbean.  I knew guests would not treat it kindly, hence the hard hickory.  I dyed it with Transtint dissolved in water (I think), and finished it with at least three coats of Arm-R-Seal.  I wanted to do more, but the movers showed up and took it away from me!

Anyway, all has been good until last week.  After those guests left, there were three sets of light-colored rings on the table.  They are about the size of a ring on your finger.  I'm not there, but the housekeeper sent me a picture (I attached it and hope you can see it).  She also says the finish is rough, like it was scraped.

I'm headed there in a few weeks and want to fix it.  Anyone have an idea of what this might be?  The only thing I can think of is nail polish remover (there were two young ladies in their late teens/early twenties and the mom, so maybe all three of them passed the nail polish remover around and changed their nail color).  Sunscreen?  Insect repellant?  Acne medication?  I'm stumped here, because everyone says Arm-R-Seal is pretty much bulletproof.

Is it likely the color is damaged, or is there a chance I will be lucky and just sand it off and add more coats?

Any advice is appreciated.  (And, yes, I am asking the guest, but it's likely they will deny it, for fear I will charge them to repair it.)

Thanks in advance!
Reply
#12
  Re: What damaged my tabletop and how do I fix it? by PitonView ([attachment=3629] ...)
Welcome to WoodNet. 

You are right that Arm-R-Seal is pretty chemically resistant to most common chemicals.  The only damaged I've observed was when someone left a can of Dow Scrubbing Bubbles on a live edge oak slab I had made.  It must have oozed down the side of the can.  Anyway, when the owner came back after the weekend away the finish had been chewed through and looked just about like your picture.  Since there was no dye or stain underneath, I was able to repair it just by sanding away the damage and blending in new coats of ARS. 

I think your conclusion is correct; that damage was likely done by nail polish remover.  When I tested ARS I found that acetone will damage it, especially if you try to wipe it off.  If you just leave it there undisturbed until it evaporates the finish will look a little swollen buy is otherwise OK.  Of course, that's not the first instinct one has when they see a puddle of nail polish remover around the bottle on your nice table.  They pick up the bottle and wipe it off. 

It's hard to say if the damage shown in your photo includes the dye.  I think I would start the repair by carefully scraping or sanding the damaged area and feathering on a coat or two of ARS.  If you still see the rings then I think that means the dye was lifted up, too, and you'll have to go back and sand or scrap a slightly larger area, dye it again, and then blend in the ARS.  In either case, when the repair is done, I would clean the rest of the table top really well and then wipe on another coat or two of ARS to tie it all together and add the additional protection it sounds like you didn't have time to do before.  Good luck.  Let us know how it turns out.  

John
Reply
#13
  Re: What damaged my tabletop and how do I fix it? by PitonView ([attachment=3629] ...)
If this is a wipe on finish I would try wiping a small area that is not visible to see if it damages the finish.  If not I would try seeing if wiping it will blend away the discoloration.

I've used oil based poly for years for table tops; I can't imagine what would do that to an oil based poly finish.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
Reply
#14
  Re: What damaged my tabletop and how do I fix it? by PitonView ([attachment=3629] ...)
Cooler, Arm-R-Seal is an oil based polyurethane.  Try putting some nail polish remover on your favorite poly.  See what happens after 15 or 20 minutes. 

John
Reply
#15
  Re: What damaged my tabletop and how do I fix it? by PitonView ([attachment=3629] ...)
Yep nail polish remover is my guess too. I did it to a table of my moms working on paint cleanup of a model plane when i was 9ysld.
Mikie's Shop

Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

Reply
#16
  Re: What damaged my tabletop and how do I fix it? by PitonView ([attachment=3629] ...)
The guests got back to me and they think it was Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus.  I've read horrible things about DEET online, but Avon claims there is no DEET in their product, just picaridin.  And picaridin is supposed to be safe for finishes.

Of course, guests don't always 'fess up to the stupid things they did!  The really frustrating part is the turquoise item you see next to the damage is a heavy-duty placemat.  I would far rather have those ruined than the finish on the table!  I guess people just don't think about treating wood carefully and protecting it.

Thank you all for the advice.
Reply
#17
  Re: What damaged my tabletop and how do I fix it? by PitonView ([attachment=3629] ...)
That product uses denatured alcohol as a solvent, not acetone.  Look at the MSDS below.

http://fleascience.com/wp-content/upload...-Spray.pdf

REACTIVITY DATA Stability: Stable Incompatibility (Materials to Avoid): Avoid contact with plastics, such as eyeglass frames, plastic watch crystals, costume jewelry, leather, and synthetic fabrics such as acetate, rayon, spandex, and dynel. May damage painted or varnished surfaces, including nail polish. Hazardous Decomposition: Thermal decomposition in presence of air may yield carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and water vapor.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
Reply
#18
  Re: What damaged my tabletop and how do I fix it? by PitonView ([attachment=3629] ...)
How small of a bottle does Skin so Soft come in?  If those white rings are the size of finger ring, that would seem pretty small for a can of bug spray/lotion unless maybe they make a purse sized one.  But the info. Cooler provided indicates it wouldn't play nice with a varnished surface.  Alcohol doesn't bother ARS; there must be something else in it doing the damage.  In any case, it doesn't effect the fact that you are now faced with a repair job.  

John
Reply
#19
  Re: What damaged my tabletop and how do I fix it? by PitonView ([attachment=3629] ...)
My housekeeper is not always precise.  When she sent the picture, I assumed it was the size of a coffee cup bottom (thinking really hot coffee from the microwave as a possibility), and she said  "no, not that kind of ring, more like a finger ring".  So a cap 3/4" to 1" in diameter would fit her description.

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed it is just the finish and not the stain.  It will take a while to mix up the stain, 'cuz I was a dummy and did not write down the colors or the quantities.  But I do know it was Transtint and I still have bottles of it in the garage.....
Reply
#20
  Re: What damaged my tabletop and how do I fix it? by PitonView ([attachment=3629] ...)
Could it be a water ring? Try an old trick ... put a dab of mayonnaise on your finger tip and rub it in and then buff it with a soft rag. I always pooh-poohed that remedy .... until I tried it on my granddaughter's oak table. Six months later I still can't find the ring.


Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)