I found this coffee table in Fairview for $30 and just knew, despite its problems, I could make it work.Â It was covered in rings from drink glasses and had what appeared to be some ink in the wood as well.Â It didn’t have to be perfect since I needed it for the playroom…and it would get treated harshly. From Uno to Lego, this table would provide what we lacked so now…how to get it cleaned up?Â I somehow sensed that sanding alone would not solve my problems (and it didn’t) so I turned to the net for answers.
Oxalic acid is what I needed….4 out of 5 DIY dorks like me seemed to think that this stuff can take the stains out of almost any wood.Â I could order it online….but was determined to find it locally.Â I head out to Lowes and start reading labels…I was about to give up when I spotted the deck cleaning section and, lo and behold…Deck cleaner is primarily composed of…..oh yeah, oxalic acid.Â I grab a gallon and rush home with unrealistic visions of having it finished by nightfall.
Having already sanded it the day before, all I had to do was:
1) apply an acid/water solution to the stains
2) let sit for 30 minutes
3) then rinse, and seal once the wood dried back out.
Well, in the end I treated the stains with 4 different solutions of acid to water, strengthening it each time until I finally just put the deck cleaner on the stains neat.Â THAT finally did the trick..but to be cautious, I’d spent hours getting to that realization.Â To seal the table, I had bought both tung oil and linseed oil and decided to go with the linseed in the end.Â The wood looks great and I’m probably going to put another coat of linseed oil on in a few days after the other coats truly soak in.Â Well worth the effort…I think the Playmobil knights and pirates agree.