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Clear-coat water rings

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  • Clear-coat water rings


    I have a kitchen table that came with my house and I noticed that sometimes (not very often) it has white rings on it like so:

    Click image for larger version

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    They show up when I leave something wet sitting there for a while. I'm not sure if heat is also a factor. After a short time of being left alone the white marks go away, leaving no apparent sign of having ever been there.

    I think I've seen something like this with not-completely-cured water-based urethane exposed to water, but I would like to know what's on this table so that I can refinish it before the years of use wear through the clearcoat and damage the stain.

    Is this phenomenon a clue as to the type of clearcoat that's on the table?

    Thanks in advance.
    Andrew Smith
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  • #2

    Re: Clear-coat water rings

    Andrew, looks like the same finish as is on the door. NC lacquer will commonly do this. Not a lot you can do other than use coasters/mats.
    There are literally hundreds of old "recipes" for getting rid of water rings, ranging from rubbing mayonaise into it, rubbing in.cigarette ash or olive oil, applying newspaper and a hot iron etc etc All rely on releasing the moisture that gets trapped in the finish. I must have literally got rid of hundreds of these things over the years. I used an aerosol can of "retarder", which is basically lacquer thinners with a blush reducer. Waft on a very light mist, wait a couple minutes and if not entirely gone, apply again. The retarder partly melts the finish allowing the moisture to escape and then reseals it as it evaporates.The coats have to be super light or you'll end up with a halo effect, but it works and doesn't involve adding any grease to the finish.
    A hair dryer can also be effective, just use low heat and keep it moving.
    If you want to embark on a larger scale project, you could clean the old finish with mineral spirits, scuff it and then apply a more durable finish like a polyurethane of some sort.
    Hope that helps
    Last edited by Paul O in Paris; 01-30-2019, 05:24 PM.
    Wally in Calgary likes this.