We have a second-hand table with a mysterious finish.
The wood underneath is pale, possibly pine. With the finish, it's a slightly darker and "warmer" colour. The table is not antique; I'd guess only about 20 years old.
The finish is soft, so you can easily score lines in it with a fingernail. It feels slightly sticky if you just press it with a finger. It becomes VERY sticky if it gets wet, and will permanently stick to any paper left on it, so the paper can only be removed by painstakingly scrubbing it into shreds. It also turns white after getting wet, for an hour or so, then fades back to brown.
Because of the stickiness it attracts dirt horribly, and is covered in dark grime which is very hard to remove. The grime can be removed by lengthy scrubbing with a rough sponge and Flash kitchen spray, but then the finish partly comes off too.
We tried Nitromors paint and varnish remover, followed by white spirit. It made some progress at removing the finish, but left it patchy and smeary and not completely removed; I think we've had better results with Flash kitchen spray.
Can you help me identify the finish, and recommend a way to remove it properly?