pics of the table i purchased from cl

deborahnjDecember 7, 2008

I finally got around to posting the pics of the table that I purchased off CL for $75.00. It is in ok shape and now I have to figure out how to maximize the beauty of it. We did put a bit of restore a finish on the top when we were with the seller. It helped the grain a bit but some of the veneer has peeled and as you can see on the bottom, there are spots.

A bunch of you have mentioned tung oil and restore a finish and I'm wondering whether I should use one or both on the table.

The one thing that bugs me is the large round circle on the top. Not sure what it is (seller didn't know). I'm hoping that once I place items on the table the large circle won't be so prominent.

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Are those white dots from the camera or are they in the wood finish?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 1:30PM
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The white dots are in the wood finish. The seller didn't have any information what the white spots are or how they got there.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 1:45PM
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The furniture refinishing guys (can't remember what they called themselves but I think they were on TLC) used a formula that contained toothpaste to fix those spots. Not sure why. I know that toothpaste has a marble base to it. I would do some searching for white spots on furniture and see if you can come up with something to do or better yet, ask on the antique or paint forum. If memory serves, it was not a big deal to eradicate those white spots with something natural. Great piece of furniture and certainly worth the time and effort to remove the ugly white spots.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 2:03PM
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I mentioned in your other thread about how I saw a table like this at an estate sale. It had not been sold at the end of the last day. The people handling the estate sale were the relatives who had no experience in this type of thing.

The table I saw, was in the basement with a whole lot of other wood furniture. I pointed out that the table and other things had MOLD on them. It was a white film in circular, symetrical patterns mostly on the bottom of items on the legs but evidence was all over the items. It was the reason I did not buy it the first day I saw it. The sellers argued with me that it was not mold. They said mold was GREEN. Argh.

When I went back the last day the basement reeked of bleach. The table was soaked wet. The visual evidence of the mold was gone. This is not the way to get rid of mold on wood. It would only make the problem worse. I declined buying the wet table.

Your table may have mold on it growing. The mold spores may be deep into the wood cells. This would need to be addressed before oiling it ar adding a finish to seal it.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 2:10PM
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Love the Table, It is Beautious.

The spots on the bottom could it be that the table has some sort of Wax or has had wax containing products applied to it over the years...and then water dripped ...making the wax bubble. It looks as though it has been water mared. Maybe they had a plant on the bottom shelf at one time that leaked.
My girl friend re-finishes antique furniture for a living - SHE would def know what that is. You can email her at her website. - Just make sure you attach that photo with the spots.

She is a one woman show. She is Amazing and extremely knowledgeable of vintage furniture. She will answer you. She would love to help. Her name is Brooke
If you want to see her work before you contact her - her site is

She is the only one that re-finishes her furniture, she is the goddess of what to do and not to do with Vintage furniture. Beautiful Table you have there - I love it.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 3:34PM
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Dilly, I didn't see your post in my other thread. I guess it scrolled off and I couldn't find it that's why I started a new one. Mold, oy vey! I sure hope not and I didn't even think about something that serious. I'm new to buying old furniture, I should have done my homework.

I did cross post on the woodworking forum so hopefully I'll get some responses there.

Carmin and Patricia, thanks for your tips as well.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 4:27PM
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Often moisture will leave white spots on old finishes. That's why you often see white glass "rings" on tables. In fact we have a 1901 bedroom set that we used to have in the guest room. A guest left their towel, after showering, across the footboard. The finish turned white where the moisture touched it. I was able to remove the "white" by using a product I had purchased at an antique store. Sorry I don't remember the name and I have since used it all and the bottle got thrown away! :-( I think it was some kind of antique "restorer".

As the white on your table appears to be "droplets" I suspect that water was spilled and not completely wiped up.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 4:49PM
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I concur that the white spots are likely water spots.

I am not a big fan of Restor-a-finish.

Most of the things labeled "Tung Oil [Finish]" are in fact not tung oil and do not even contain tung oil in them. They are merely wiping (highly thinned) varnishes.

Look at the link below and start with that approach, a good cleaning and spruce up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Saving the finish

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 6:20PM
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Bob, thank you! I saw some of your posts in the woodworking forum and I so hoped you would pipe in with suggestions. I will definitely read the links you attached and educate myself on what to do.

I saw how Valinsiv(sp?) tables came out after your recommendations. I'm hoping to have the same luck.

I will keep everyone posted!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 7:04PM
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That's a beautiful little table. I'm sure you'll get those spots out with no problem.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 11:56PM
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Water spots are very likely.

Are the white spots only on horizontal surfaces or do they run up the sides of the legs?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 3:02AM
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Dilly the spots are only on the horizontal surface as shown in the pictures. My only other concern is that the veneer is peeling on the table top in a small area. It is the same area as the large round circle thingy I mentioned above. You can see it better in the last two pictures I posted.

I forgot to ask Bob will I have a problem following his directions if the veneer is peeling on the table top.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 6:57AM
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Hi Deb: This is a lovely table. You've done good. Most antiques do have some sort of issue or another with them--see my thread on my DR chairs--so we have to take some measures to preserve their beauty. The top looks to have a lot of figured wood to me and is to be prized. Bobysmyuncle is certainly very knowledgeable with any questions about woodworking. What I've had success with myself is the combination of cleaning with mineral spirits followed by Murphy's Oil soap (probably has a similar effect as the Dawn dishsoap recommended in the article he linked). I actually am a fan of Restore-a-Finish, though he does not recommend it. It is very easy to use and difficult to mess up a piece if you are an ameteur. I put it on using 000 steel wool rubbing in the direction of the grain. I'd try that first on those water spots (which was my first thought as well). Do you know the wood species? I'm guessing Walnut.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 11:58AM
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I've been a THS member for years but I rarely post. I'm a longtime lurker. I wanted to share a method to remove water spots (old and new). I found this online on one of those frugal living websites. I've used this twice with excellent results. It involves mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip but real maynonaise out of the jar), wood ash, and a hand-held blow dryer.

I took about a cup of mayo and added fine wood ash to it until the mayo was a medium gray color. I got the wood ash from our fireplace. Very fine ashes work best. Mix together until smooth. Then take a cloth and rub the mixture into the wood while directing hot air from a blow dryer over the area. What worked best for me was to keep the dryer moving; you want a steadily moving stream of hot air. If your dryer is very hot, start with the lowest setting. Use a SOFT cloth. An old diaper is good; I used a T-shirt.

I used mayo and ash to successfully remove extremely old water spots as well as more recent ones. You might want to try this on just ONE water spot as a test. I would not recommend this method for veneer; I'd be worried the heat would lift up the veneer. But where your spots are look like solid wood.

This site was my reference for this method. The site has other postings on removing water spots, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Removing Water Spots

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 4:18PM
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violethrush: I bookmarked the site you linked for future reference since I have had this problem in the past. Thanks for sharing it.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:00AM
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Violet and Val, thanks so much for your suggestions. I'm going to work on the table this weekend. I will be sure to post pics when I'm done.

Val, I saw your thread on your DR chairs, good luck! I still love, love how your tables came out. If you ever decide to sell them, let me know!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 5:54AM
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It appears to me that the large circle on top of the table is from where an item like a vase or statue was on the table and the table was exposed to sunlight for a long time. It seems that the table top is faded and where the vase or statue was is the original color and finish.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 6:50PM
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