Fixing Damaged Finishes
Water and heat rings on tabletops and other surfaces rank high on the list of common finish faults. Here are some tricks that just might make them go away.
"There are no guarantees when it comes to removing water and heat rings," according to furniture repair and finishing ace Jim Kull. "Some methods for getting rid of white marks are potentially damaging to the finish," Jim says. "And ultimately, all efforts may fail, leaving stripping and refinishing -- or living with the marks -- as your only options."
But if you're game, it might pay to try some of these tricks before you resort to refinishing.
Let's see what you have there Start by assessing the damage. "A simple repair may be possible for finish discoloration, damage that doesn't penetrate the wood," Jim says.
The mark itself will tell you a lot
A white mark signifies damage to the finish only.
A darker mark denotes damage that's gone through to the wood.
Check the surface, too
An unmarred surface over the mark generally indicates damage caused by moisture.
A slight indentation over the area usually points to heat damage.