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Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Waterproofing a fruitwood table


Eileen, I bought a fruitwood dining room set at a yard sale, from the original owners, who told me they purchased it new in 1972.  The top of the table is veneer, which I know since a tiny section is chipped off.  Pretty, pretty table, but one drop of water on it and a white spot appears.  I hate having to keep it covered - and would like to put a water repellent finish on it.  Can you help???

Hi Cheri
Nice to hear from you.
You already know the white spots are caused by moisture trapped under the finish.
But in order to get rid of this finish and apply a waterproof one you need to remove what is there.
I am a little hesitant to tell you to do that before something less invasive is tried.
Heres what I'm thinking.
This dining table purchased new in 1972 should have had a fairly hardy finish applied when it was made. So I wonder if the top is built up with waxing/ Pledging etc.
Get a small can of mineral spirits and a box of Bulldog fine steel wool pads.
Dip the wool in the spirit and gently scrub with the grain of the wood.
Dry with clean rags as you work.
You will likely notice the rags getting very dirty. Keep going until the rags no longer get dirty.
This will remove 40 years of crud from the table and reveal the original finish.
Do this and get back to me.

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Eileen Cronk


Hi..I can answer most questions about the repairing,stripping and refinishing of all your old furniture and wood items(the things we call antiques)I can give advice about what to buy/avoid at auctions/flea markets. I do not give appraisals on antiques.


I have been refinishing antiques for the past 30yrs. While I have taken several courses over the years,I have found that "hands on" learning is the best teacher. Perhaps I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I made while learning.

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