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post #1 of 7 Old 10-04-2016, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Expert opinions needed


I am not a woodworking expert myself, but I am looking for advice from woodworking experts.

I recently purchased a solid birch bedroom set for my son from College Woodwork (a Canadian company). Unfortunately, we found some scuff marks on the headboard. A furniture technician came out and removed the marks using a very fine steel wool. After he was done, we noticed that the finish appears shiny where he applied the steel wool. These marks are only noticeable from certain angles and with certain lighting. Sometimes they are very noticeable and sometimes you don't see them at all.

The furniture tech does not want to do anything to fix the shininess. He says that the marks will go away on their own over time and that I should wipe the whole thing down and polish it with a dry cloth regularly to help the process.

I have a difficult time believing that the marks will disappear, perhaps because I don't understand how/why they would go away.

Is there any truth to what he says? Or should I be looking into methods for having this fixed?

Thank you in advance!

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post #2 of 7 Old 10-04-2016, 08:53 PM
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from the photos ...

It look like the finish is low luster or satin. By using the fine steel wool, he has polished the surface to more of a gloss. My suggestion is to do nothing else.

IF the finish is a lacquer, it might be possible to spray on a low luster top coat locally, but you run the risk of making things worse than they are.

Another approach would be to use the same steel wool and "blend" the shiny areas into the surrounding finish. It won't go away, just widen out the shiny area so it is less conspicuous.

EDIT: If the company won't make any adjustments to the brand new product, then you are stuck. If you don't want to send the piece out for refinishing, I don't blame you one bit. That's not a viable option. If you don't have spray equipment, and I'm certain you don't then a ratttle can lacquer is the only option. If you don't have finishing experience, and I'm certain you don't, then the options are limited to what I suggested above.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-04-2016 at 09:48 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-04-2016, 09:18 PM
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The finish on the bed is satin because the finish contained a flattening agent that came to the surface when it was applied. By rubbing it with steel wool it has removed some of this flattening agent. Therefore the spot will never go away. The only fix to that finish would be to rub the entire bed with steel wool bringing the sheen of the rest of the bed up to what the spot is. A better option would be to clean the bed with a wax and grease remover and apply another coat of a satin finish over the top. This would require some tinkering to determine what kind of finish is on there now. If you don't have the means of spraying then you would be better off having a furniture refinisher recoat it. On the back side next to the floor put a drop of lacquer thinner on the finish and see what happens. If the finish melts then the finish is probably lacquer. If it wrinkles up like you put paint stripper on it then it has a varnish type finish on it. It's not good to put varnish over lacquer and if it's varnish and you put lacquer over it you would be looking at refinishing the bed.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-04-2016, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you.

Would you consider this furniture "damaged"? (the technician is insisting that it is not).

My hands are tied in some respects, because just 10 days after I ordered the furniture, the furniture-making company closed... after 100 years of being in business (what are the odds?!) The store that sold the furniture is still operating, but they no longer carry this line of furniture and I am guessing any kind of warranty I was supposed to have is now gone.

Doing any kind of spraying or refinishing would have to involve hiring a professional- I wouldn't trust myself not to make it worse.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-04-2016, 11:27 PM
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It's difficult to say if the technician damaged the piece without knowing what it looked like to begin with. Anyone that touches up furniture should have known rubbing a small spot would result in a difference in sheen there. We just don't know if that was the best that could have been done.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-06-2016, 02:47 PM
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You could try rubbing some wax like Briwax over the shiney spots to see if it deadens shine a bit you may have to apply it over the entire piece. Things like this are hard to give advice not seeing it.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-06-2016, 06:30 PM
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Did the technician work for the manufacturer or the store where you bought the furniture? I would contact the Consumer Protection Division of your state's Attorney General's office. They will contact whoever you bought the furniture from, on your behalf. They don't act in a legal capacity but can often get better results than you might be able to on your own. Won't cost you anything to do this.
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