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Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Noticible sheen on a matte finnish


QUESTION: Good morning.  I owe two dining tables purchased at Ethan Allen.  With each table I became aware of a sheen on the tables.  I had an individual come to my house.  For each visit he used a aerosol  product which eliminated the sheen on the two matte finishes.  I am concerned about this concept o rubbing on the table to produce the sheen. I don't recall ever wiping or rubbing vigorously.  Is this product available on the internet?  Would a glass top solve this problem or create more.  The tables are in the dining room (little use) and the kitchen.  Thank you in advance for your response.

ANSWER: Hi Sandra, I'm a bit confused about this you do all your own cleaning?,, meaning, are you sure no one has used an aerosol product to clean/shine the tables?? (Pledge, Endust, Liquid Gold, etc..), when the technician came, did they rub the finish down with an abrasive like fine steel wool?...or just apply something and wipe it off? Lacquer finishes can be "rubbed", "polished", and or otherwise manipulated to provide differing sheens during manufacturing, restoration, cleaning, etc. A glass top would give you the sheen of the glass, which is not matte, but quite glossy.....but cleans easily and protects the finish. Please post back to clarify the issue...regards

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QUESTION: Good Morning Greg.  Yes I do all my own cleaning.  The dining room table has only been dusted with a microfiber cloth.  This table is about 4 yrs old.  Within the past two years I have noticed two shiny spots.  I had the first taken care of by the furniture repair individual provided by Ethan Allen.  He use an aerosol product to remove the sheen, not rubbing it with steel wool, etc and it worked.  He only sprayed the area in question.  Another spot recently showed up.  With regard to the kitchen table, I have had two areas at different times show a sheen.  I had the same gentleman fix the first sheen.  Why is this happening? Also could you possibly tell me what product he is using and if it is available on the internet.  Needless to say I have paid for the previous two services and I don't think the repair man would tell me where to buy this product.  The gentleman stated that it happens with excessive rubbing on the finish---I know for a fact that this does not happen.  I failed to state that on the kitchen table I have used a wet cloth with a small dab of life of wood.  I am going to buy glass for the kitchen table and if all else fails I am going to complain to Ethan Allen.

Did the aerosol product have a strong smell like nail polish? He's correct in the fact that any repeated action on an area of the surface can/will burnish the surface and change the sheen, so for instance of you sit at one place most of the time, just from using the table, you can change the sheen of the table top because any repeated touching, rubbing, sliding a plate or even a placemat, can/will burnish/polish the finish over time. Lacquer is subject to any rubbing/polishing, and in fact a "Satin" finish can be polished to a gloss, and a flat can even be polished to a higher sheen, and the gloss level can also be cut by other rubbing methods, one being rubbing out with 0000 steel wool and a wool lube product. A finish on a used table will undoubtedly age as it is used, and a kitchen table likely revives a lot of use... there are not too many options he could have used to cut the sheen, likely he sprayed a new coat of lacquer over what was there... can you describe his method?... regards,

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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.

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