Repairing White Discoloration on a Lacquered Table

      How to get rid of milky-white spots on a lacquer finish. April 17, 2009

Back a few months ago I laminated a 2" thick 4 x 8 pecan island top for a customer. It was stained fairly dark and then I applied two coats of clear catalyzed lacquer. Then last week the customer laid a paper plate with hot food on it and it left a milky white spot. So my question is, can I wipe the spot with retarder or spray a light coat of retarder over the whole top or do I refinish it? I need some advice.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor C:
Hit the area with a hairdryer.

From contributor U:
Wipe the spot with methylated spirits (denatured alcohol in the US, I think), and set fire to it with a match. I've done this dozens of times, and it always works.

From contributor R:
Shame on you for using lacquer on a tabletop. Take some denatured alcohol and blotch it till you pull out the moisture.

From contributor M:
I have done the same thing using retarder. Personally I would try rubbing the area with denatured alcohol first, but if that doesn't work, try using some retarder. Let the customer know that either method may leave that spot with a slightly different sheen than the rest of the top, but that's the price that's paid for laying hot stuff on a top. It's also the price paid for using a lacquer product of any type on a table. I sprayed my personal kitchen table with conversion varnish, and have never once gotten a white spot from heat and there isn't a chemical in my house that will damage it - but it scratches terribly easily.

From contributor U:
The point about wiping the spot with denatured alcohol and burning it is that is no effect at all on the sheen of the finish. You wouldn't know there had been a white spot. Just light the alcohol and leave it to burn out.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2017 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article