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My wife just bought an antique chest. After we go it home, she laid some squash on top only to find a couple days later that what appears to be mold ate through some of the paint. I'm wondering how to go about matching the paint on this or does the whole chest need to be refinished. Thanks for any help Steve
 

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My wife just bought an antique chest. After we go it home, she laid some squash on top only to find a couple days later that what appears to be mold ate through some of the paint. I'm wondering how to go about matching the paint on this or does the whole chest need to be refinished. Thanks for any help Steve
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The finish in the picture doesn't look like paint. Picture wasn't too clear.






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The white patch looks like the moisture in the squash has gotten through the finish. If it was me I would take an eyedropper and put a small drop of lacquer thinner on the white spot and see if it melted the finish back to clear. If it works, flood the area with lacquer thinner until it completely clears up. You don't want to touch it with anything. Just apply the thinner and let it dry on it's own. Very likely it is a nitrocellulose lacquer finish and it will just renew by soaking with thinner. After it dries it will leave a little odd appearance but can be buffed out with 0000 steel wool and or rubbing compound. If it doesn't clear up then try folding a couple of paper towels and laying it on the spot and heat it with an iron (like you iron clothes with). Just be careful not to blister the finish with the heat.

If it comes down to refinishing then to match the color takes a lot of patience and tinkering. You just have to buy several different colors of stain you think will work and end up with trial and error intermixing and or thinning until you get the color. It usually takes me an hour to match a color and I've been doing it for years.
 
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