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Thread: Wood Table Damaged by a Hot Cooking Vessel

  1. #41
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    Apr 2015
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    Default Re: Oh no. $3200+ kitchen table from Restoration Hardware is Made in China.

    I'm hoping you can give some advice. I just purchased a reclaimed wood table from Pottery Barn, similar to what's being discussed in this thread. I applied several coats of Minwax paste finishing wax and buffed to a finish I was really happy with. Well yesterday I made a really, really dumb mistake and set down a hot serving dish on the table (table covered with table cloth) and when I removed it there was an area that had significantly darkened from the heat. I'm not sure how to fix this. Can I strip the spot with mineral spirits and reapply the Minwax?

    So disappointed and would really apprecaite your recommendation.
    Last edited by NJGlenn; 04-06-2015 at 11:35 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Oh no. $3200+ kitchen table from Restoration Hardware is Made in China.

    Paste Wax does nothing but make it pretty and shiny, it offers nothing in the way of protection other than making water bead up. Doubtful you can fix the burned area with scraping the entire top appx 1/8" with a Stanley bullnose scraper, likely its into the wood. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking a table cloth or placemat will barrier heat from a hot dish, but it won't. You have to use a trivet or something thick enough for the heat to not transfer to the top. Scraping a table top is not as hard as it may seem as long as you realize once you start you are committed to the job and have decent upper body strength and don't mind sweating a little bit, its a good upper body workout. I can scrape a 6' table top in 20 minutes or less, provided I have a good edge on my blade and the right set on it.

    Attach a photo of the table and the damaged area if you like.

    If you want to live with the mark, then strip the wax off using mineral spirits, and go get a can of paste varnish (gel). Clear or a tint, your choice. Tints are just barely tinted. Once the table is clean, put the paste varnish on with a lint-free rag and keep it DRY-DRY-DRY. Don't layer it on, just enough to get some coverage. Light coat - light - light- light. (everyone ALWAYS puts it on too heavy). Let dry and then use your Minwax on top, and now you have some barrier protection - but it still won't work against a hot dish burn. Good luck
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  3. #43
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    Apr 2015
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    Default Re: Oh no. $3200+ kitchen table from Restoration Hardware is Made in China.

    Well it looks like I got very lucky and the wood wasn't burned, the heat only effected the wax. I was able to use mineral spirits and strip it off the area that had darkened. I've attachced two photos to show you a before and after. I'm going to give it another application of mineral wax to remove the little that is left. Now I just have to strip the rest and apply the paste varnish as you suggested.

    Thank you so much for the advice that you are giving on this forum. Your expertise is highly valued and you're providng a real service.


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  4. #44
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    Default Re: Wood Table Damaged by a Hot Cooking Vessel

    Now that I see that table top, it looks very raw and unfinished - moreso than I expected. I assume its Heart Pine? Looks like what we call a "Cabin Grade" of it. I don't think the PV will be enough on that surface, if it was my table I'd do a full poly finish as it looks very porous. To do that, strip it clean then get a quart of flat polyurethane and apply a single coat with a 4" foam brush. Again not to heavy, but get coverage. Let that dry and see what you think. If you have a lot of 'nits' in the poly finish, then get a 3M Green Scrubber (never use sandpaper on Poly) and knock the nits down, then that will leave a lightly scratched surface. Now you get the Paste Varnish and go over the top of it all dry-dry-dry and that will cover the fine scratches, then a coat of wax over the top of it all when dry.

    If you are not sure if you will like the look of a poly topcoat,. flip the table over on the floor and practice on the bottom of it. Good luck
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  5. #45
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    Apr 2015
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    Default Re: Wood Table Damaged by a Hot Cooking Vessel

    Thanks again for the feedback. The table is the PB Benchwright in "Vintage Spruce Finish" (I respect your views on PB, but we paid about 75% off retail). I suspect it's the pine you mentioned, but clearly I'm not a wood expert. But here is more of a finish on it than is showing in the pics. I think I'll try what you're suggesting on the bottom.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Default Re: Oh no. $3200+ kitchen table from Restoration Hardware is Made in China.

    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
    Yes, you need to remove the paste wax before applying a wiping varnish. Use Mineral Spirits and a rag to remove the wax. Apply the paste varnish lightly and with a rag in the direction of the grain, as thin as you can possible get it and still have coverage.
    Hi, Duane.

    Thank you for all the helpful advice. It took me a while to source the Bartley's paste varnish, but I was finally able to find it, and I have applied it to my RH table. Indeed, it did darken and change the color somewhat, but the result is still very attractive.

    One more question: How long shall I allow for the paste varnish to dry?

    Thanks
    Steve

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Wood Table Damaged by a Hot Cooking Vessel

    Paste varnish - if put on very lightly - is dry in 30 minutes.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  8. #48

    Default Re: Wood Table Damaged by a Hot Cooking Vessel

    drcollie, the table violet*tendencies purchased in this thread was completely unfinished. If the same Restoration Hardware Trestle table instead had a finish on it (like the Salvage Brown), how would it stand up to spills, food, cups, etc.? I know you don't work there, but this is really a question about finished tables in general. And what is the proper way to clean up and maintain such finished tables from salvaged wood?

    https://www.restorationhardware.com/...Id=prod2350121

    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
    Wow! There's a lot of wood in that table, I imagine its quite substantial and heavy. It looks solid!

    Now for the the bad part <well, maybe not bad>.... that's an unfinished table, so that's why you are getting the tiny splints of wood when you wipe down the surface. As you continue to use the table, its going to soak up every small stain and dropping on the top surface, and any mopping near the base will get a water soak as well. This is OK if you want an "Old School' tavern look,but be prepared for a hundred glass rings on the top and butter-grease marks, etc.

    Solutions? Not many and keep the table as it is.

    1) You could put a glass top on it, edge to edge.

    2) Though it will change the look, feel and may darken it some, I would consider applying a coat of paste varnish on the entire piece. Use a can of clear (paste only) varnish and get a dry rag. Apply ONLY with the dry rag and very sparingly. Do not 'coat' the piece with the paste varish, rather dry-rub it onto the table in the direction of the grain. You want to apply it DRY-DRY-DRY. Just barely enough to cover. This will lock down the loose fibers on the top and also give you some stain resistance. However, before you do this be sure you do not want to return it, and start out on the underside of the table to see what it does to the color and if you like the look when it dries.

    All based on the photos you sent, but that's my read on it.

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Wood Table Damaged by a Hot Cooking Vessel

    They have a care link on their website:

    https://images.restorationhardware.c...ing_Tables.pdf

    As I have no idea of their topcoat (if any) they are using, so I can't advise on care. I could take a pretty good guess if I saw it in person, but from photos, etc. there is no way of knowing. I don't want to steer you down the wrong path.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

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