Refinishing old dough bowl

sidgarNovember 18, 2008

I need help! I bought an old oak dough bowl for my mother. It had been painted with apples and some type of finish applied. I have sanded everything, but still have lighter areas from the painted apples. How do I get the apple areas to blend in? I had been told to apply mayo to darken the areas, but they are still lighter than the rest. How do I even the color out? I want to give this to my mother for Christmas.

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woah woah woah! now maybe im paranoid but im not sure i would use aanything that wasnt FDA approved. your average paints and finishes are jsut NOT designed to be eaten out off. the only brands i know with FDA approved finishes are behlens and sikkens (i would call their customer service to see exactly what they have, where you can get 'em and how they work). now all of that being said im not sure how much it matters if the stains/paints UNDER the topcoat are foodsafe. if it doesnt id suggest sanding the whole thing with 180 grit sand paper to take off anything that might've been left from the apples. if you feel like playing with some chemicals i might consider using a chemical sripper- something that contains methylene chloride to remove any color. if the apples permanently changed the color of the wood then theres not much you can do because even if you stain it, the natural patina of the wood is going top show through and give you minor to major discolorations and/or blotchyness. I dont know how much i've helped you here but hopefully ive given you a starting point.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:38PM
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The first thing you need to do is get the mayo OFF the bowl----even if it is on the outside. Food products decay and cause all kinds of problems---salmonella/etc.

Then sit back and consider why the light/dark areas happened. UV/sunlight bleaches many materials, wood being one. Wood ages and changes color simply as a result of aging. So, the painted areas did not get the same amount of light as the unpainted areas---even with a finish over both.

Short of painting over the lighter areas, I do not know of any DIY technique that will solve the situation.

Now, about finishes. Mineral oil on the inside is fine. Shellac on the outside is also fine(except if it gets alcohol of any type on it.) You could even shellac the inside---shellac is digestable---but it will flake/wear under the stress of mixing dough.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 8:28PM
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A) What is the look and feel you want to accomplish?
B) Will this actually be used for food or food prep or simply decoration (the butter making bowl I grew up with now has a silk flower arrangement in it.)
C) FDA does not "approve" finishes. Many of the finishes that claim to be "food safe" are merely re-packed versions of the manufacturer's other products.
Salad bowl finish
Ordinary wiping varnish and point out what makes one "food safe" and the other not.

Here is a link that might be useful: food safe finishes

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 8:28PM
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messed up link
ordinary wiping varnish

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 8:29PM
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Thanks all for the help. It won't be used for food, just something to hold fake fruit. Any other suggestions?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:27PM
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Just stumbled across your forum & have questions. How do I get the shellac off a wooden dough/bread bowl? I just bought an old one, complete with bits of old grayish dough (yuck) inside. Closer inspection reveals it's been shellacked inside and out, with a lot of the shellac worn off the interior. I would like to remove all the shellac, maybe use food-safe mineral oil on it to restore the grain, and see if it could be used for serving foods. (Though I'm happy just to use my glass bowls for making dough!)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 12:13PM
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Denatured alcohol dissolves shellac. That and a lot of clean rags. Or you could use a commercial stripper, followed by a rinse. All the chemical residues should evaporate away in a few days.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 1:24PM
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