Table top repair.

Discussion in 'Your DIY and Workshop Projects' started by Retired, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Retired


    Jul 29, 2018
    Likes Received:

    A couple of years ago our lovely neighbour was very distressed having just ruined a table top dropping nail varnish remover upon it removing a patch of the tables finish which was highly visible. This was made worse because this table was one of three being a nest of tables and had high sentimental value to her.

    I'm hopelessly colour blind and dislike any job requiring colour matching but I've made lots of furniture from scratch over the years so this table shouldn't be too much of a problem?

    As I say I really am hopelessly colour blind; one day I sat at the computer with Bron and we both did a colour blind test consisting of 24 different images; Bron was correct in all 24 I was correct in 3; well I know I'm not perfect.

    Any attempt then by me to patch up the damage would possibly only make the damage worse; it had penetrated the finish down to bare wood; this is something I would definitely not recommend to a novice but with the table sitting on the bench and this time pulling the scraper towards me I attacked it with my Stanley #80 scraper;

    This scraper when razor sharp is a joy to own and use taking a great deal less effort than using a standard card scraper; it can quickly bring a sawn hardwood board ready to accept finish; scrapers are really only used on hardwood such as this table top. With the old finish now completely removed and the bare timber sanded and dusted off time now to stain but this is where it can go horribly wrong; I have spirit and water based stains so prepared a sample piece of timber to test the colours; I applied three different colours and let Carole have a look where she chose one of the colours; although I'm colour blind I can easily identify different shades and the colour chosen by Carole was to me the wrong colour so I quietly applied the stain I thought to be correct?

    I can French Polish but I don't think this a suitable finish for such a table and although lacquer would be acceptable; for wear and tear though I like using Polyurethane Varnish which is cheap and can be bought in high gloss or matt. The problem with Polyurethane Varnish applied by a novice it can be very unsightly indeed and produce a "Toffee apple" effect; if overworked it starts to pick up and become sticky resulting in a mess. I find applying Polyurethane Varnish is best done very quickly indeed with a decent brush; put plenty on level it off and walk away leaving it a couple of days or longer to harden; care is needed not to apply too much on vertical surfaces otherwise curtains will appear but on this level small table top I just slapped it on and after crossing with the brush finished using brush strokes with the grain but going gently; the Polyurethane Varnish then dries nicely without brush marks; the result can be seen in the pictures below. This proved a lot more work than trying to touch in the damage but I think the end result was well worth it. Carole was delighted when I took the finished table round to her; my reward was a batch of home baked dairy free buns baked by Carole. Carole moved next door to us about five years ago when her husband sadly died; Bron and I do lots to help her but don't mind because Carole is such a good neighbour.

    Just one of many such favours I've carried out over the years but I treat each as a separate project taking my time to do the best possible job I can.

    I hope this is of interest.

    Kind regards, Colin.

    Not a job for a novice or anyone timid.

    Drastic action but highly effective in removing a finish quickly.

    A quick going over with a Bosch random orbit sander.

    Preparation pays off ready to accept stain.

    DSCN2185.JPG DSCN2186.JPG
    Stain applied and the light patch will disappear or I hope it would.

    DSCN2189.JPG DSCN2190.JPG
    Table now restored to as new with all signs of damage removed; Carol was absolutely delighted.


    Stain test samples.
    Retired, Sep 11, 2018
    Ian likes this.
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