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How to remove stuck on leather stain

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Forum topic by chickendoctor posted 04-14-2019 11:05 PM 261 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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chickendoctor

3 posts in 2193 days


04-14-2019 11:05 PM

I have a nice piece of furniture with some type of catalyzed lacquer finish. My wife left a leather bound book on it without moving for several years. When I moved the book to clean it was stuck to the furniture and left a stain (residue?) when it came off. Any ideas on how to clean this without refinishing?

Alcohol and Goo Gone did not touch it.


5 replies so far

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Rich

5152 posts in 1198 days


#1 posted 04-15-2019 02:18 PM

Acetone and lacquer thinner are the solvents that soften lacquer. Sadly, I doubt if there’s any way you can draw that color out of there. However, it probably doesn’t go the full depth of the finish. I would rub it lightly with lacquer thinner (acetone will work, but thinner evaporates a bit slower) and repeat until the color is gone. At that point take some aerosol lacquer, trying to match the sheen, and spray very light coats. Don’t spray until the surface is wet, and keep going, trying to blend out as best you can.

You can get by with some Deft or Minwax, but Mohawk has a more complete line of lacquer aerosols.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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bilyo

962 posts in 1711 days


#2 posted 04-15-2019 02:58 PM



Acetone and lacquer thinner are the solvents that soften lacquer.

- Rich

Rich, I think he said that the affected finish is a “catalyzed lacquer”. I’m no expert, but I think that means that it will not be dissolved by thinner or acetone.

If the “residue” is on the surface, maybe gentle scraping with a new razor blade will take it off. Hopefully you won’t go through the finish doing this. Then you can buff out any scratches left.

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Rich

5152 posts in 1198 days


#3 posted 04-15-2019 03:13 PM


Rich, I think he said that the affected finish is a “catalyzed lacquer”. I m no expert, but I think that means that it will not be dissolved by thinner or acetone.

- bilyo

It’s slower, but will still soften catalyzed lacquer. I’ve stripped entire catalyzed lacquer surfaces using butyl acetate, which is just a super-slow evaporating solvent. The advantage of the slow solvent is that it stays on the surface longer. Acetone will work too, it’ll just take more effort. That’s why I recommended thinner since it’s a blend of solvents and evaporates a bit slower than acetone.

You might be thinking of conversion varnish.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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bilyo

962 posts in 1711 days


#4 posted 04-15-2019 06:01 PM

You might be thinking of conversion varnish.

- Rich

No. I’m just ignorant on the subject. I only read that catalyzed lacquer cured by a chemical process and did not re-dissolve with the same solvent as regular lacquer does with lacquer thinner. So, I thought that you might have missed that point. Thanks for the correction.

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Rich

5152 posts in 1198 days


#5 posted 04-15-2019 06:40 PM


I only read that catalyzed lacquer cured by a chemical process and did not re-dissolve with the same solvent as regular lacquer does with lacquer thinner. So, I thought that you might have missed that point. Thanks for the correction.

- bilyo

No, you’re not really off-base. It’s true that after a certain window of time sanding is required for a recoat because the fresh lacquer won’t burn into the previous layer like regular lacquer would. However, solvent will dissolve it if given enough time. It does take longer though.

Back to the OP’s issue. Billyo’s suggestion to scrape the surface is probably a better thing to try before solvent. Maybe even try wet sanding with some 400 or 600 grit paper. I like to use a soapy water medium when I wet sand. About an ounce of dishwashing liquid to 8 or 10 ounces of water. If that takes the stain off, you can move on to higher grits evening out the entire surface until you get the sheen you want. Finish off with some good wax like Crystal or Renaissance. I use Mother’s Pure Brazilian Carnauba wax.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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