A Woodworker’s Notebook
Jeff Gorman
Removing White Rings from Polished Furniture

This is a surface fault that develops in use and is usually caused by a combination of heat and moisture on french polish and nitrocellulose.

You can try this at home

Before you do something drastic like the operation in the following section, try rubbing the ring with a walnut (the part you eat). It worked for my wife, but took a Sunday morning to do it. The better the day, the better the deed - perhaps?

'Wood Finishing' J.W. Collier Pergamon Press 1967

"The heat causes the film to expand and the moisture is thus allowed to permeate it, causing precipitation in the process. Frequently the condition is aggravated by the weight of the receptacle impressing itself into the softened film. This fault will arise less with an acid catalysed lacquer, still less with a melaminated material and not at all with a polyurathane of polyester film.

Sometimes, if the condition is mild, a brisk rubbing with oil will cure it. In more severe cases an abrasive cream may be effective. In the worst cases the surface may be wiped over with oil, then with methylated spirit and set alight, the flame being blown out before burning out.

What will happen is that the heat will re-fuse the surface and eliminate the fault. If the surface is clean and there is no other blemish it may be restored without much further treatment.

(Great care must be taken in this treatment to see that oil, spirit, wadding and other inflammables are well out of the way before setting the surface alight)".

'Enquire Within on Everything' (Published in 1867)

"A Warming Pan full of coals, or a shovel of coals, held over varnished furniture, will take out white spots. Care should be taken not to hold the coals near enough to scorch: and the place should be rubbed with a flannel while warm" - Maybe an electric iron might be today's remedy?

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