Author Topic: Need advice - removing stain on Eames ash table.  (Read 2531 times)

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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2524
Need advice - removing stain on Eames ash table.
« on: June 18, 2016, 10:50 PM »
I have a friend who left a water glass overnight on a coaster on an Eames molded plywood table.  Here's a link to the table - http://camodernhome.com/products/eames-molded-plywood-coffee-table?variant=278846776

The coaster was black leather and apparently the black felt on the bottom bled into the ash grain.

it's a light finish and has shown some wear.  I was going to try some Oxalic acid wood bleach but first wanted to ask advice on refinishing what appears to be a lacquer finish.  Perhaps this is pre-cat lacquer.  I'm just not that familiar with catalyzed versus pre-cat lacquers. 

Any advice would be appreciated.  It is a molded top so it's veneer over plywood.  I could use a RO90 with the interface base and fine sandpaper, but wanted some advice before I suggest to him that this is repairable without damage.

Any help / ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks!

neil

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Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5768
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Need advice - removing stain on Eames ash table.
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2016, 11:02 PM »
I'd wipe it with lacquer thinner to see if it will lift the stain, be gentle.

I don't think the wood bleach will help with a finish on the table.

You may end up sanding and refinishing the top.

Tom

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 269
Re: Need advice - removing stain on Eames ash table.
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2016, 11:08 PM »
Hi Neil,

Any chance the water had iron in it and that got onto the wood directly?   To the best of my knowledge, black felt isn't going to be much affected by Oxalic acid, but if it's due to a reaction with the tannins in the wood it would definitely help.

If it were me, the first thing I would do is clean it thoroughly in two steps:   First, get all the wax and stuff off with mineral spirits.  Then, I'd move on two cleaning it with some detergent and water.   Some elbow grease might take care of business.

Jeff Jewitt recommends using 1 part brushing lacquer to 3 parts lacquer thinner to help 'revive' a lacquer finish.

If it doesn't, and you need to use the bleach, you're probably going to want to strip the whole top before you bleach it.   It's not really a solution for local problems.   In that case, I'd suggest using a chemical stripper like Citristrip to remove the finish from the top.  I try to get at least an hour of dwell time before removing the stripper.   I'll cover it with foil to keep it from drying out and becoming waxy.

Once it's stripped, I'd proceed very cautiously with the ro-90 to make sure you don't burn through the veneer layer.   Then, I'd apply the wood  bleach.  Be sure to exercise caution and thoroughly rinse it off when you're done.  That stuff can work wonders, but it can also be tricky.  Make sure you don't have any fans blowing!

-Adam


Depending on the results of this, you might be able to mostly fix the damage.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2524
Re: Need advice - removing stain on Eames ash table.
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2016, 11:11 PM »
I'd wipe it with lacquer thinner to see if it will lift the stain, be gentle.

I don't think the wood bleach will help with a finish on the table.

You may end up sanding and refinishing the top.

Tom

Thanks Tom - I'll try lacquer thinner to start.  My reasoning was that the dye penetrated the finish, so perhaps the bleach might do the same.

It is an open grain, and its worn in a number of places, which leads me to believe it's not catalyzed.  I had always heard they were a much more durable finish.  I may try to call Herman Miller and ask them about the finish on the table.

I might have to sand deeper than I normally wood given the open grain.  I was thinking perhaps starting at 220 or 400 grit with the interface pad and lightly sanding and going up to even 1000 or higher. 

Once sanded, can I come back over the top with regular lacquer?  I have not worked with any of the catalyzed finishes in the past but have sprayed lacquer with good results.

Thanks!

Neil

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2524
Re: Need advice - removing stain on Eames ash table.
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2016, 11:16 PM »
Hi Neil,

Any chance the water had iron in it and that got onto the wood directly?   To the best of my knowledge, black felt isn't going to be much affected by Oxalic acid, but if it's due to a reaction with the tannins in the wood it would definitely help.

If it were me, the first thing I would do is clean it thoroughly in two steps:   First, get all the wax and stuff off with mineral spirits.  Then, I'd move on two cleaning it with some detergent and water.   Some elbow grease might take care of business.

Jeff Jewitt recommends using 1 part brushing lacquer to 3 parts lacquer thinner to help 'revive' a lacquer finish.

If it doesn't, and you need to use the bleach, you're probably going to want to strip the whole top before you bleach it.   It's not really a solution for local problems.   In that case, I'd suggest using a chemical stripper like Citristrip to remove the finish from the top.  I try to get at least an hour of dwell time before removing the stripper.   I'll cover it with foil to keep it from drying out and becoming waxy.

Once it's stripped, I'd proceed very cautiously with the ro-90 to make sure you don't burn through the veneer layer.   Then, I'd apply the wood  bleach.  Be sure to exercise caution and thoroughly rinse it off when you're done.  That stuff can work wonders, but it can also be tricky.  Make sure you don't have any fans blowing!

-Adam


Depending on the results of this, you might be able to mostly fix the damage.


Good advice.  I like the progressive steps approach.  If I have to strip it, I've used Citistrip in the past so that may be the direction I have to go, but will explore other options first.  I'm very wary of too much sanding given the veneer.

Thanks!

neil

Neil

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5768
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Need advice - removing stain on Eames ash table.
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2016, 11:17 PM »
Catalyzed is very durable. My guess is it is plain old everyday nitro cellulose lacquer.

Be careful how much chemicals and/or water you get on the surface, it could dissolve the veneer glue.

If the finish is that worn and thin, hand sand the top in the direction of the grain.

Tom

Offline John Broomall

  • Posts: 47
Re: Need advice - removing stain on Eames ash table.
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2016, 11:31 PM »
Start your experiments on the inexpensive and disposable coaster rather than the table. See what dissolves the dye on the coaster. Most leather dyes are aniline based so it probably dissolves in alcohol or water. Whatever takes dye out of the coaster will take it out of the wood.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Need advice - removing stain on Eames ash table.
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2016, 11:54 PM »
Hand sanding may be a better starting point than an RO-90.

Offline bdiemer

  • Posts: 195
Re: Need advice - removing stain on Eames ash table.
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2016, 09:04 AM »
The furniture maker may have applied a final coat of wax, which would mean the stain is only in the wax coat. Before you get involved in any solvents and sanding, try to clean with a clear briewax. Please no ro90.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2524
Re: Need advice - removing stain on Eames ash table.
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2016, 01:10 PM »
Thanks for all the advice.  It ended up being easier than I thought -

Top was finished with nitro cellulose lacquer.  Tested first with mineral spirits but no luck on getting the black stain to release.  So I used some lacquer thinner to wipe down and concentrate on the area where the original stain was and then went over the entire top being careful with a light wipe down with the lacquer thinner.  Sanded the entire top with the RO90 starting with 180 up to 500 grit with the interface pad.  Wiped down wit a tack cloth and vacuum.  Followed with a light sanding with the grain.  I applied a really light coat of natural oak stain in the area where I had concentrated with the lacquer thinner and left a fan running on it overnight.

Just sprayed with a satin lacquer.   Photos show two coats and I'll probably add two more.

I had taken the legs off the table to work on it and noticed how much the original finish had darkened.  Table was manufactured in 2006.

Again, thanks for all the help!  The FOG is an amazing resource for project help.


neil