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baok

Finish doesn't harden much

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My wife bought a nice sideboard last week which had a pretty beaten up top.  (Her original plan was for me to make one but then she found this - imagine my disappointment.)  Anyway...

 

I bought some Restore-A-Finish and used that on it.  It looked quite a bit better but even a couple days later, I was still wiping some color off the top with a clean rag.  It says on the can that it should dry and be ready for wax in 30 minutes but after two days and repeated wipings, some color still is coming off.  Not much but still I would expect none. 

 

Today I finally put wax on it which made it look a bit better still but I'm still wiping up traces of color.

 

Any ideas other than to simply scrape it off and start over?  What would make a finish do that?

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Probably had some contamination on the top (Lemon pledge, cleaners, waxes etc) that are not allowing the finish to dry. It may be too late now but you should have really wiped the surface down with VM&P Naptha and Denatured Alcohol (as long as it isn't a shellac finish that is) multiple times using new clean rags each time. I am not sure if you can spray or not but you could get aersol cans of touch up lacquer and spray the top with that. Mohawk even makes a Pre-Cat lacquer in a rattle can that works OK.

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The MSDS sheet for Howard's is informative. I wouldn't call it a finish exactly- more of an all in one polishing treatment and not a very good one.  The main ingredient is Parafin oil, which is a very slow evaporating oil. Gilsonite is listed which I assume is the colorant. Gilsonite is Tar- as I understand it is more refined in some way than what you patch a roof with. For cleaning agents, Howards also contains small amounts of Acetone and MEK, along with Isopropyl Alchohol, Xylene, Naphtha and toluene. That's a fairly hot brew of solvents, so I would always test this product on a small area of the project to see what happens.

 

Bottom line- I wouldn't be surprised to be wiping off color residue after days or even weeks.  They probably count on folks who don't look past the visual improvement.

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Very interesting. I should probably consulted the MSDS myself.

Now that time has passed, the finish has hardened up. The whole thing looks quite nice - it doesn't look new of course but we're happy with it.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I have used Howard's for years. I partially dissolves the old finish, adds some color and is only meant to spruce up something you don't want to refinish. Could have been something on the piece that wasn't compatible. I always test a spot that is inconspicuous and let it dry overnight before I go hog wild. I have had it try to dissolve the entire finish at just the slightest touch and I quit right there.

It's the finishing equivalent of duct tape, just a quickie patch job.

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