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Kitchen Table Finish

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  • Kitchen Table Finish

    I have a kitchen table that is oak with a clear finish on it. Someone took a Hot plate out of the microwave and set it on the table, a white mark appeared and i need to know how to remove it.

  • #2

    I haven't been challenged by that problem, but I did do some reading after I saw your post. The unknown of course is what is the clear finish that you have (polyurethane, varnish, shellac, lacquer?) Knowing the finish (the age of the table may be a clue) might provide a better idea for a remedy from one of the other members. In any case, here is what I found:

    White marks appear on finished surfaces when a wet glass, a coaster or plates, or any hot object is placed on a surface and left—not necessarily a long time, either. In some cases, just contact may be enough to create a disfiguring problem.
    White marks may be removed by using a mild abrasive made of damp ashes from ordinary cigars or cigarettes or with toothpaste. Make a paste with the ashes and a little water or a few drops of mineral oil. Dip a cotton swab into the mixture and rub the mark in the direction of the grain of the wood. Check your progress regularly; this should remove the mark quickly. Do not rub so hard that you make a deeper mark on the finish.
    If the ash mixture does not work, the next stop is to try rottenstone. This is a gray, mild abrasive available at paint stores. Use with a mineral or linseed oil and a piece of felt or flannel cloth folded into a small pad.
    Put the rottenstone in one saucer and the oil in another; dip the pad into the oil and then in the rottenstone. Rub the cloth across the mark following the wood grain. This combination is more abrasive than ash, so work carefully, slowly, and lightly.
    The rottenstone and oil should remove the mark. If you apply enough pressure to dull the finish, then touch up the area with furniture polish or wax."

    Taken from Wood Finishing and Refinishing, Creative Homeowner Press, 1982

    I hope this helps,



    • #3
      If this mark is fresh (a day or so) may I suggest to wait another day or two. My mother in law often gets these white marks on her brown stained oak table due to heat and sometimes wet objects but it goes away after a few days. Strange!
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