Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Black Watermarks are Annoying!

As you can tell by now, I enjoy reviving vanities/desks.  So far, the folks in this area seem to appreciate my interpretation on these pieces, as they are readily adopted.  A few months ago, a woman contacted me asking me to keep her in mind for a Hepplewhite style vanity.  She wanted a dark walnut top and Old White base.  When I found this vanity, I snapped it up with her in mind.  

But as they say, the best laid plans…blah, blah, blah.  See that nasty black ring in the finish?

Hmmm…there must be some way to remove it.  So I did some reading about bleaching it out.  I followed the steps and here is the bleached top! 

LOL! (Although you know I really wasn't laughing much at this stage, right?)

I am now on Day 3 of this vanity.  Striping, sanding. bleaching, and now…crying.  Ok, RPK, get over yourself and move along to Plan B.

A young woman who loved the softness of the all white adopted her. 

As for the other woman who wanted this style vanity with a dark walnut top...well it didn't work out this time for her, but stay tuned!   

This was a good reminder that when life gives you lemons, look to make lemonade.  

On another note, my father was in the furniture business for most of his life.  Whenever we set a glass down on a wood table without a coaster, he would kindly remind us to place something under the glass to avoid a watermark ring.  Now I know why.  Once the moisture penetrates the finish, the black mark is created. 

If anyone knows of an effective way to remove those rings, I am all ears!

For now, if I am looking at a piece to relove, I am totally scouring the top for those nasty, black watermarks!

Thanks for stopping by....



  1. Hi Robin, I also hate watermarks! The only solution I've found is to sand them way, way down. This one looks like it was meant to stay. Beautiful job on the piece - love it all in white!

    1. Thanks, Suzanne! Yes, this mark wasn't going anywhere! Good lesson learned...

  2. i don't do custom orders anymore... and the beauty of that is that when things go wrong it's easy to hop to plan b! :) it looks beautiful, robin!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Cassie! You've just confirmed "No custom work for me"! I've been reluctant as folks have ask me to do some work for them. Too many "What ifs" for me to feel comfortable! You're the best!

  3. Hi Robin,
    I just HAD to stop by and thank you for that amazing comment you left about my golf trophy lamp! I had no clue how the flight thing worked, though I DID know it was a golf trophy. :) What a terriffic idea about researching the tournament! I did google the name of the golf club, but didn't get a thing. It's worth another go, though.

    Nice work on the dresser, too, by the way!



  4. One good turn deserves another, though this one was much easier than your part!

    How to remove a black ring from furniture:

    To remove a black mark, the experts agreed that the damaged area needs to be stripped of its finish so it can be treated with oxalic acid, a wood bleaching agent. Mr. Triestman said that, unlike regular bleach, the acid restores the patina. A new finish then needs to be applied to the area.

    Rather than refinishing the entire piece, it’s usually desirable to work on as small an area as possible, Mr. Burden said. “If it’s a lovely piece of furniture, you really want to attack just that one spot,” he said. “Often the value of the piece comes from having a very old or original surface.”

    However, matching the original finish is tricky and might best be left to the pros. Prices vary according to the work required.


    1. This is great information, Revi! I researched the whole bleach thing, but never happened upon any information regarding Oxalic Acid. It looks like Rockler is a supplier (which makes sense)...so maybe I won't shy away from those nasty black rings!
      Thank you!

  5. hi Robin
    wish I'd seen this blog post earlier , you need oxalic acid. a great product is called Bar Keepers friend

    next time...