You are here:

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/how to protect finish on antique table


Hello, Mr. Scholl,

I have a turn of the century dining room table that I just had refinished, which cost about $400, only to find a huge ring on the table after Christmas dinner.  I used two padded vinyl table protectors, and none of the dishes were particularly hot.  I was heartbroken when I saw my beautiful table.  I have tried the mayonaise trick, which did nothing for the finish, so I figure I am stuck with the ring. Now I'm wondering what to do for the table top in the future. My sister-in-law uses a firm, wood-grain protector on her table that stays in place all the time. Is this a good option? Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time and expertise!

Hi Annie, sorry to hear about your table top, did you have it refinished by a local person?...this type of ring can be caused by moisture trapped in the surface of the finish, and while Mayonnaise, Peanut butter, and other old wives tales are to be avoided, the ring might be removable with a "blush eraser", which is a combination of solvents that gets sprayed over the surface. This should be done by someone familiar with the product, and I would definitely contact the refinisher to inquire...make sure to tell him you put Mayo on the table, because it is full of oil that will need to be carefully removed before they try to remove the ring.It's quite surprising that this type of ring could happen with the protection that you had on the table top... Please post back and let me know- Regards- Greg

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Greg Scholl


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.


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.

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")

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.

©2017 All rights reserved.