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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Poly coating repair


Table top
Table top  

table top 2
table top 2  
Hi. Recently acquired this wonderful inlaid table. Unsure of its age or origin. Think the auctioneer mentioned "inlaid Italian". Photos don't show the great detail.
My problem is that there are vague "foggy" marks on the table-top. Not really rings, but more like "clouds" that are vaguely white. Most of these are where someone would have sat, and i'm thinking they are either from moisture or heat or both. There seems to be a rather thick layer of poly on the top. How can these "white clouds" be removed/polished out, etc? It looks nice as-is, but would truly be wonderful if these could be taken out.
Thanks so much.

The cloudy in the coating/finish could be from the things you mentioned.  Moisture, coating deterioration from body oils, heat with moisture.  Or, it could be from some type of low quality wax on the surface that has trapped moisture.  If that is so then the wax would have silicone or mineral oil in it or both.

Here is an example of what happens.  There is a product on the market the name of which i cannot remember, call something like dry and wax or dry and shine made for use on cars and motorcycles.  after waxing you spray this on a rag and dry the surface.  all is good until it gets wet again by rain or hose.  then you have all sorts of large and small spots of all shapes that look like the haze you are experiencing.  very difficult to make it right again!!!  

if your table were mine or a customer of mine, the first thing i would do is use mineral spirits and clean the top---always testing a spot first to make sure it does no harm.  you have to use a rag and a bucket of mineral spirits because you are trying to clean off what we hope is just a surface contamination in a wax or oil put on by some well meaning but ill informed person.  dip rage in ms, wring out, wipe, rinse rag, wring out, wipe, repeat-- several times.  then dry and let dry.  hoping this works.

after the mineral spirits contact me and let me know what you have.

Where in NY are you?

next day, using johnsons floor paste wax from the grocery store--it contains no silicone or mineral oil--wax part of the top and see what you have.  if all is good then great, if not, clean with mineral spirits again and know that the problem is in the coating.  this cannot be fixed easily--in the actual coating.  There have been many discussions about this problem within our professional refinishers group(bout  200 of us all in business)concerning new pieces and older pieces--5-20 years old, not antique.

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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