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Expert's Corner — wiping

Remove Watermarks With Steel Wool

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Watermarks can happen in all finishes after they have aged and become somewhat porous. The marks appear light gray to white and are almost always very superficial – that is, right at the surface of the finish. So one way to remove them that almost always works well is to abrade off the very top surface of the finish with fine steel wool or abrasive pad. Usually, the discoloration will be removed with very little effort, as shown in the two accompanying pictures. The downside of removing watermarks in this manner is that you may change the sheen of the...

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TIP: Repairing Sand-Throughs on Edges

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The easy way to repair sand- and rub-throughs on sharp edges is with a marker of a similar color to that of the stain used. These markers are widely available. If you sand through an edge between coats of finish, simply color in the sand-throughs and apply another coat of finish, to keep the marker color from being rubbed off. If you rub through an edge on already finished furniture, woodwork or cabinets, it will be more difficult to apply a protective finish after replacing the color. The easiest methods would be to wipe just the edge with wiping varnish,...

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