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Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/EA Country French Table

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Question
Greg, my wife/I have an Ethan Allen country french kitchen dining table.  My son and a friend spilled rubbing alcohol on it during the course of a biology experiment, which seems to have "permanently" discolored the EA special finish on the table  Table is now some 20+ years old, w/ a few fairly deep scratches on the surface.  I'm wondering 1.  How to "undo" the alcohol discoloration
2.  If I should try to refinish, or leave to a pro, in order to repair the scratches...

Thank you in advance for any advice.

Answer
Hi Mark, I would suggest that this type of damage is best left to a Pro. Refinishing a Dining table well, and with a matching, durable finish is a skill, and is NOT something that can be accomplished by the typical homeowner or DIY'er.It is most likely a sprayed on lacquer finish, and likely uses "toning", (a process of using dye based toners under the clear coat to enhance the finish), as this was very common in Ethan Allen's finishes.The alcohol damage cannot be "undone" as the finish has been permanently scarred by the alcohol, most likely. I would have a Pro or two come in and evaluate it with you, which they should be able to offer free or at a very nominal charge.Regards and post back if need be- Greg

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Greg Scholl

Expertise

Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects, Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings, wood species recognition and usage,tool recommendations, blade types and recommendation,techniques and methods for many Woodworking related issues, etc.

Experience

Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.) Sold, built, serviced, setup Home, Industrial, and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools , provided knowledge, parts replacement, service, and on site service, Trade show Demo, and training as well.

Publications
Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002) ...("27 year compilation of expert know-how")

Education/Credentials
Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars from major Tool manufacturers, Skil/Bosch, Delta, Powermatic, Ritter, Porter cable, Milwaukee, Dewalt/B&Decker, Performax.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT. (the Antiques capital of CT.), Golden Age of Trucking Museum,Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies. For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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