Waxy desk disaster
April 22, 2006 7:23 AM   Subscribe

In a rush I used a vintage wood desktop as an ironing board. Smart. My new super-powered iron seems to have caused the finish to smear and/or partially decompose into a chalky wax resin. How do I remove and repair?
posted by jeffmacintyre to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
I think you just melted the shellac on a french polished surface. Look for French Polisher in the YP. It might have to be entirely removed and refinished. Expect expense, I'm afraid.
posted by scruss at 8:12 AM on April 22, 2006

I had a similar problem, and I tried a bit of toothpaste (paste not gel), rubbed in with a soft cloth. The grit of it works as a fine sandpaper and removes the old wax. I think that afterwards, you'll need to reapply polish.

Also, if the damage was caused by the steam from the iron, try putting on some mayonnaise.
posted by hooray at 8:19 AM on April 22, 2006

If it is a wax finish over an old shellac finish it might just be that you damaged the wax; you can remove the wax and rewax. Don't remove a vintage shellac finish if you can avoid it -- shellac is repairable since it's alcohol-solvent.

But -- my experience is with a vintage shellac floor, not fine furniture, so there might be other things to consider.
posted by litlnemo at 12:21 PM on April 22, 2006

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