Kim Komando, America's Digital Goddess
 

Burn Marks on Wood Table

This question was submitted from Eric C.

“My coffee table was burnt on the top. How do I repair and and re-varnish it ?”

Depending on how deep the scorch marks are you may very well be able to sand off the damage and refinish the table. Be certain that it is a solid wood table and not particle board covered with veneer.

Try these techniques :

Start by sanding the surface of the table in the area of the damage.

Using a 60 grit sandpaper will remove a lot of material quickly. The first few pieces of sandpaper may get gummed up with the existing finish, so if you notice the sandpaper getting smooth, get a new piece.

In theory, you should go over the entire surface equally. However, as long as you remove the finish from the entire surface, if slightly more material is removed where the burn marks are, no one is likely to notice the imperfection.

Once the blemish is removed, move to a 150 grit paper, and sand the entire surface. If you are uncertain of matching the existing finish (colour and gloss) you should sand the rest of the piece as well (legs, sides, etc.) and refinish the entire table. Before finishing, and usually between finish coats, sand with a 220 grit sandpaper. This should leave a perfectly smooth finish.

Wipe the table with a tack rag to remove all of the dust, and refinish in a well ventilated and dust free environment.

There are dozens of different finishes, many with different application techniques, so follow the manufacturers directions. Almost universally they call for many thin coats, instead of a few thick coats. Trust me on this one, it will take more time but it is worth it!