Refinish a Table Top #1: Neighbor's Coffee Table

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 11-30-2016 07:03 AM 1022 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Refinish a Table Top series Part 2: An Update to Refinishing This Coffee Table Top with TransTint Dye »

Martin called me. He is my neighbor. He asked how do you remove white rings on a coffee table. I said that I know white rings are easier to remove than dark or black rings. Let me look it up and I will send you a text with the answer. I found a YouTube video posted by Charles Neil. He proposed two methods for removing white rings. The first he did not demonstrate. It was using a cloth soaked with boiled linseed oil (he said thjs would be his only time he would recommend the use of BLO). The cloth was laid over the white rings and a hot iron was run over the ring. It was said it would work.

I performed this test on our amish dining table after my Annie said we had two white rings on it. Well, this method worked.

The other method by Charles is what i would say is unorthodox. With this method Charles took a cloth soaked with denatured alcohol, he then stroked that cloth over the table covering the area of the white rings. He then lite the alcohol with a lighter. It burned quickly, burned itself out. The white rings were gone, just like that.

I sent the link to my neighbor Martin. He watched it and replied: “Wow”.

I said: “Yeah. Crazy.” Let me know when you would like to try it. I have the boiled linseed oil, the cloth and the iron if you want to test his first methold on your table.’

Saturday Martin dropped by. Okay, I said, let’s give it a go. His son had already moved the coffee table to the garage. He said he had already tried the boiled linseed oil method. It did not work. He was ready to test the denatured alcohol method. A cloth was soaked in denatured alcohol then passed over the white rings, a lighter was lite but the fumes from the alcohol did not light. This method was tried again and again. Neither time did the alcohol light up.

I told Martin to wait. I was going back to my shop to get the iron and cloths so I could perform the clean boiled linseed oil method on his table. As I was returning I saw Martin walking up to talk with me. Martin said he poured the denatured alcohol directly from the can on top of the table, It did light up, but it spread to areas he had not intended to catch fire. Thank goodness we had prepared for this event. Martin had already put the fire out with his fire extinguisher. However, the table top, well his entire table was a mess..

I suggested that I could attempt to restore or refurnish it. Martin gave me the okay

After reading some online articles and watching several YouTube videos, I was determined that I could remove all of the existing finish with a chemical stripper from my big box store.

I found some time today to strip the existing top coat. I had used blue tape to surround the edges of the table top. I also dropped cloth so the sides of the table would be protected. The stripping process went fairly well. After the top was striped, I also cleaned the top with paint thinner and then with mineral spirits.

My next step will be to lightly sand the top surface with a high grit sandpaper. I am also considering removing the metal buttons that are fastened to the table top’s edges. I would remove them so I could also much easier remove the stain on those ange.

-- --- Happy Howie

4 comments so far

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#1 posted 11-30-2016 03:26 PM


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#2 posted 11-30-2016 04:03 PM

Yeah. Crazy…

-- --- Happy Howie

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#3 posted 11-30-2016 05:29 PM

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#4 posted 12-01-2016 01:49 PM

-- Do NOT click links. Spammer in the process of being removed.

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