water stains on table cleaned but patina lost

uncauziOctober 13, 2009

I recently got the Big Sur table from Crate & Barrel. It's a rustic style table made with solid European white oak and you can see all the natural splits, cracks, and knots. i gave it a few coats of wax, but unfortunately after our first time using it, we still got a few water stains.

I panicked, researched online, and found a popular solution: rub it out with toothpaste and a damp cloth. I tried it out, and it looked like it was working. One stain in particular was especially tough to get out (in fact, if you look hard enough you can still kind of see it). Anyway, after a lot of elbow grease, I thought I had finally gotten them all out. And that's when they dried up. All the areas I "cleaned" were now noticeably lighter than the rest of the table. It seems as though I had removed the patina in those areas. I applied more wax (several coats in fact), and while it helped a little, the lighter spots are still noticeable.

Any have any suggestions? Should I leave them be and hope that with time it will even out a little (any chance that bare wood will develop a patina slightly faster and "catch up" a bit?)? Should I bite the bullet and refinish the entire table? Or are there any other solutions?

And lastly, any tips on what I can do to prevent any further water stains? I was so shocked to see them considering I had already put several layers of wax.

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Toothpaste is a mild abrasive, usually chalk.

What is the actual finish?

Lacquer should be reasonably resistant to water spotting.

Shellac is very vulnerable.

Mayonnaise will remove the blush from shellac with no damage to the surface.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 12:24PM
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The wood is only finished with wax. It's supposed to have a very primitive and rustic look, so the wood is otherwise bare. I've included a link below to the product page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Big Sur product page

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 3:47PM
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It was probably a tinted wax. If the manufacturer could send you some, that would likely help attain a better touch-up.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 7:51PM
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