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This project was born out of frustration! While putting away my Christmas crate display, I realized some of the fiberfil "snow" I used had stuck to the top. It was time to do something!
I purchased this cabinet and the matching dining room table and chairs from Craigslist. I didn't really want this piece but the seller offered it to me for an additional $100, which is a steal for a vintage mid-century modern piece, so I bought it. I don't regret buying it as I do like it, but the table top finish has always been sticky.
I've actually tried all kinds of methods to clean it--mineral spirts, soap and water, Krud Kutter, Restor-A-Finish, etc. Nothing worked! So, I searched the internet for a solution. I found this article which inspired me to try using acetone. When I did the test to check what kind of finish was on the top, I realized the acetone worked to clean it and didn't seem to damage the wood. That's why I decided to try using acetone on the entire top.
Just a word of caution. Acetone will take the finish off your furniture. Anyone who has spilled fingernail polish remover can attest to that fact.
Back when Steph was in elementary school, she did just that when a tiny bit of remover spilled on our dining room table. The remover left a quarter size spot where it ate clear through the poly finish on the table! There is no way to fix that other than to completely refinish the table which we never did. If your furniture has a poly finish on it, this is probably not the repair for you.
I don't know for sure, but I think this acetone method worked was because there was no finish other than perhaps some kind of oil on the wood. I just want you to be careful because you can damage the finish on your piece with this method.
This cleaning method is EXTREME and should be use with caution and at your own risk. This worked for my situation, but may not work for yours and may even leave your furniture needing to be totally refinished. Because this method was a last resort for me I was not concerned about damage as I knew if it didn't work, I'd have to strip it anyway. It is important to test an inconspicuous area prior to working on the top.
You'll need acetone, high quality paper towels, like Shop Towels, paint brush, glass dish for holding the acetone, face mask, and puppy pad to cover your work surface. I found it easiest to work in a small area by brushing on the acetone and swirling until the sticky stuff liqified. Wipe with the grain immediately. If you don't, it dries and is even stickier than before and you'll have to repeat the process in that area.
I am so happy this method worked. I lived with that frustratingly sticky finish far too long! This turned out far better than I imagined it would. I'm so happy I didn't have to strip the entire thing.
What extreme cleaning method have you used? What were the results?
By the way, this has nothing to do with this project, but does anyone know a good method to remove newsprint from painted trim?
If you're a mid century modern furniture fan, you may enjoy this PDF I made of the original catalogue I found in the drawers of this cabinet. The furniture is dated 1967 and is from the company Bahus of Norway.
Please note: This is not a sponsored post.
FYI: We are not professionals, and we don't claim to be. This is what we found worked for our project. Yours may need a little different approach. Safety first!
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2/6/2020 05:58:50 pm
What pdf of the catalogue? There is no link. Thanks for telling us about it though.
2/9/2020 01:02:12 pm
The PDF is coming. ~Vicki
7/2/2020 07:14:02 pm
A very easy way to remove the sticky off old finished wood is to use non pumice hand cleaner from the auto parts store. Make a paste of it with some water and just rub it on and wipe off with a wet microfiber cloth.
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