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Repairing Water Damaged Finish

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  • Repairing Water Damaged Finish

    ok.. heres the story. We accidentally put a potted plant on some finished hardwood in our dinning room. The wood is now all dasty looking white and has been for a year. Is there some kind of product that melts poly and "resets" it. I'll try to take a picture of the damage. If I were to refinish it would ahve to be the whole dinning room

    Thanks guys and gals,


  • #2
    Re: Repairing Water Damaged Finish


    I am sure someone else will chime in here, but if the finish is really trashed, Its been my experience that you need to sand/refinish the entire room.

    Good luck,



    • #3
      Re: Repairing Water Damaged Finish

      I should have read that a little closer, IF its what I think it is, you may be able to buff it with some steel wool and then polish the floor.


      • #4
        Re: Repairing Water Damaged Finish

        Try buffing it w/toothpaste.
        Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

        A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!


        • #5
          Re: Repairing Water Damaged Finish

          Josh: A hardwood floor is no different than a piece of furniture. Furniture stores touch up damaged coatings, scratches, etc all the time (altho good touch up is almost an art), so there should be no reason to completely redo the floor. If all else fails, go to the local quality furniture shop and ask to speak to whomever repairs the damaged stuff. They should be able to give you some good advice.

          First a question: is it white like as in concrete or chalk, or is it white like as in milky?
          1 If like concrete or chalk, it probably is stained or has mineral build-up, etc from the plant food, soil, etc. Rubbing compound and a 3M pad will probably work off the finish gradually, allowing you to quit if it disappears before getting to bare wood. If it does, rubbing compound with a softer rag should bring back the gloss to equal what you have on the rest of your floor. If you know the finish is poly, brush or spray can on some poly,( several coats) let it dry, and then use the rubbing compound to bring out the shine. (If lacquer, get the rattle can satin or gloss stuff from Lowes, but it will take five or six coats to get enough to buff out if it doesn't match). If the rest of the floor is high gloss, use polishing compound (and yes, I mean the stuff you buy for automobiles). The compounds will clean up with water, so rinse well (wipe with damp rags) and let dry before reapplying any finish or wax.
          2. If it is milky looking, that usually indicates moisture trapped in or under the coating. Lacquer and shellac are really susceptible to this. 1st try to draw out the moisture with heat (ie a hair dryer or commercial heat gun set at lower than 250 degrees. This may pull out the moisture, and if it does, hit the area with some paste wax or whatever Momma's using on the floor. If that doesn't work, try DNA (denatured alcohol) or IPA (commercial Isopropyl alchol). Put some on a rag aand lay it over the white spot. The alcohol has an affinity for water, so may pull it out of the coating. If it is shellac finish, this will dissolve the shellac, but let it dry and it will harden again.

          If you end up removing the finish and it is still white, the wood has been stained or bleached. You will probably have to attempt dying or staining it to match and then spot refinishing.

          To figure out the coating, try a little alcohol (on the bad spot). If it dissolves it is shellac. 2nd try lacquer thinner. If it dissolves it is lacquer, if it bubbles, it is poly or varnish. If these do not touch it, it may be acrylic. If the coloring for the floor comes off with the finish, then the replacement finish needs to be a colored coating. If it does not or slighly lightens, the wood was dyed or stained. If in doubt, go see the furniture guy.

          Hope this helps. I am sure their are a lot better experts on wood finishing here that can also help, especially on using transtints, etc to match colors.

          Practicing at practical wood working


          • #6
            Re: Repairing Water Damaged Finish

            I'm printing this one out Gofor.

            Good stuff for future reference


            • #7
              Re: Repairing Water Damaged Finish

              I agree, thats some good info to have around.

              Thanks Gofor