Backing from placemat ruined table

mystic47July 5, 2010

I had a palm leaf placemat in the center of my dining table with candles on it. It was a tempory fix until I get a centerpiece. The palm leaf placemat was a cheap plastic type that I usually use outdoor for a tropical look.

Anyway, today I took the placemat off to polish the table and the placemat stuck to the table. When I removed it the table feels sticky and looks discolored. I tried furniture polish - nothing. I light tried my steam cleaner - nothing - actually looked like it was starting to hurt the veneer. This is a light wood table.

Any ideas what I can try next - looks like it might have to be refinished. Not having a good day. Second piece of furniture I ruined in two days.


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What you have is "plasticizer migration." The chemicals in the placemat that keep it soft and flexible has migrated into the finish and done the same there. The damage is in the finish, not on the finish.

If the damage is not too bad, you might be able to buff it out with some 0000 steel wool. If there is a dark toner (finish with color in it), it might lighten the spot some. You can get more lacquer finish in aerosol cans and if you can get a good match on the color, also toner in aerosol.

There is also a chance the damage is all the way through the finish, in which case it's more difficult.

A good touch-up technician may be able to recover for you.

It would be worth trying in an attempt to avoid stripping and refinishing the whole top.

Steam cleaner is not good -- stop that now. You may have damaged your table's veneer or finish using that.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 7:29PM
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Thanks so much _ I will try the steel wool tomorrow.

I know the steam cleaner did not help the situation but I just tested it with the steam cleaner.

Good to know that lacquer finish comes in aerosol cans thanks again for the info


    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 10:13PM
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