Cleaning Away the Gum If you

used mineral spirits to clean the wax from the piece, some or all of the gum may have already come off. If you didn't do it be

How to Remove Stains and Blemishes on the Surface

fore, clean the area with mineral spirits or other wax remover now . Moisten a cloth with the solvent and rub the area clean. When the gum is all gone, you'll find the edge of the old finish. That is, the old gummy finish will come away from the wood, but at some point, the original finish is good enough to adhere. At this point, you will see the edge of the old finish.

Some refinishers sand this edge, feathering it into the bare wood, and then coat the entire segment (the chair arm. Tor ex ample) with new finish. This works if the bare wood under the gummy finish hasn't discolored. If it has, and this procedure is followed, you end up with a visible discoloration under the new finish coat.

If the Wood is Affected When the wood in the clean area is darker than the rest of the arm, try to restore the color before applying a new finish coat. One way is to sand the bare area with a very fine abrasive paper, removing a tiny amount of the wood surface. If the discoloration is only on the surface, this will restore the old color. However, it also may remove some of the stain and iighten the color too much, so do this carefully: sand a little, then wipe the area clean to observe how much change is occurring.

Complete Removal Another solution is to remove the old finish from the entire arm, then rcfinish the arm, taking care to match the color of the other arm as closely as possible. Many people find this easier than patching, and get better results because they achieve an even color on the refinished arm.

Another handy tool for making repairs in a finish is the abrasive swab —a small wad of steel wool wrapped around the toothpick

There are dark surface stains on this table leaf They look like old pasnt or similar substance The blade of a sharp pocket knife is ihe best lool for removing this kind of stain. Simply scrape across Ihe surface and lift off the starn.

HOW TO REMOVE Some stains and STAINS AND blemishes don't BLEMISHES ON penetrate the fin-THE SURFACE ish, but remain on the surface. You also may find foreign substances adhering to the surface, such as flecks of paint or glue. These can be removed by gentle scraping with the blade of a small pocket knife.

Scrape with care. You don't want to dig down into the finish, but simply want to dislodge the foreign substance. Don't apply downward pressure to the blade, but use a horizontal movement instead. Most of the time, the foreign material will flake away, leaving the finish beneath it intact.

Stubborn Substances If the substance has bonded itself to the finish and refuses to flake away, it may be removed by abrasion. Use an abrasive swab, made by wrapping fine steel wool around the end of a toothpick, or shape a very small pad of find abrasive paper for the job. Work on the blemish itself, not the entire

Another handy tool for making repairs in a finish is the abrasive swab —a small wad of steel wool wrapped around the toothpick surface of the furniture. Remember thai you want to keep the finish whole, so don't rub hard enough to wear through it. Just work to remove the foreign substance. This isn't always easy, but ii can be done,

Another method is to rub the area with a fine abrasive such as pumice and oil. Pour a few drops of fine bicycle oil on the blemish; then sprinkle the oil with powdered pumice. Rub the mixture over the stain with your bare finger or a small pad. Check frequently to see if the stain is disappearing. and stop rubbing as soon as it is gone. If you continue rubbing too long, you will remove the finish.

There are dark surface stains on this table leaf They look like old pasnt or similar substance The blade of a sharp pocket knife is ihe best lool for removing this kind of stain. Simply scrape across Ihe surface and lift off the starn.

HOW TO REMOVE Some of the repair STAINS THAT techniques we arc PENETRATE going to suggest THE FINISH are quite simple, while others take some practice and experience. W'c suggest that you practice on scrap wood with any technique. After a few sessions on the scrap material, you can undertake the actual repair on your project.

You can't always tell whether a stain

Once you have patched an area, stain it to match the existing stain Sometimes a small artist's brush is the ideal too! for the |ob.

has remained on the surface or penetrated the finish. To be on the sale side, I irst try the scraping technique discussed under "Surface Stains" above. If that doesn't work, the stain probably has penetrated the finish and perhaps even gone into the wood itself. The only solution then is to apply mild abrasion until the stain disap-pears. This means removing the finish from the area.

Work the abrasive (pumice and oil. or line sandpaper) until the stain is gone. Then examine the area to see what has happened. There are two possibilities.

Shallow Stain You have removed both the finish and the objectionable stain but have scraped down to the wood. The coloring of the wood, however, is still good, To complete the repair, clean away all abrasive material and apply a coat of the same finish (varnish, shellac, lacquer) material. Use an artist's brush for the job, and brush out the edges of the patch so that the edges won't create ridges when the patch dries. Use several coats, and allow each to dry thoroughly before applying the next. After the Final coat has dried, sand the area with superfine abrasive paper (8/0 to ¡0/0 grade), blending the patched area into the rest of the finish. Once you have cfeaned away the abrasive residue and applied a coat of wax, the patch is finished.

Deep Stain You have removed the finish and the objectionable stain, but find that the coloring stain is also gone, and the exposed wood is its natural color. The solution is to restain the wood, then rel'inish the patch as described in the preceding paragraph The tricky part is to find the right color of stain. Use a scrap of the same kind of wood, and try different colors. coating each with finish material. When the finish has dried, match these colors to the furniture, and use the closest one. Keep in mind that the old wood won't take the stain in exactly the same way as the new wood; the stain probably will be darker on the old wood.

Deep Burns

A deep burn extends beneath the finish.

A cigarette burned the edge of this table leat to make a black char about % in. long To repair it scrape with the sharp blade of a pocket knife.

The scraping takes longer than you might think The surface char comes off easily Then, keep scraping until al! signs of black discoloration are gone In most cases, a little stain restores the color after scraping. If the char is very deep, use slick shellac to till the crater

A cigarette burned the edge of this table leat to make a black char about % in. long To repair it scrape with the sharp blade of a pocket knife.

The wood near the surface usually is charred black, and the charred wood must be removed.

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