The bag in the photo below stained my wood table (see the photos).
The bag had held some heavy books an was laid face-down on the table. I don't know if this happened through basic time and pressure, or if my cleaning lady applied cleaned the table with some Lemon Pledge, then placed the bag face-down on the newly cleaned tabletop. The table is from Rooms to Go (R2G). Officially per R2G's manufacturer catalog, it is a "cherry" wood with a "clear cherry" finish.
How can I remove this stain without having to refinish the table?
Applying Minwax paste finishing wax removed a much smaller spot, but using it on this large an area requires a lot of elbow grease. Applying pressure from a plastic stick pushing waxed paper towel is working, albeit slowly. I wonder if Murphy's Oil Soap will help, but I don't want to add something new to the mix in case it sets the stain.
An online forum elsewhere recommended a paste of mayonnaise and cigarette ashes for a similar problem, but I don't smoke and therefore have no ashes available.
I contacted a local furniture restoration company and showed them this post. The lovely lady on the phone explained that R2G usually uses a spray-on finish with a name that starts with 'f'. Her recommendation was to
- proceed cautiously
- tape over one grain direction
- get some 4 0 steel wool
- unfold it to a cloth shape
- get some appropriately-colored Minwax
- gently rub the Minwax using the wool in the direction of the grain
- if it fails to fade, apply slightly more pressure
The actual solution she suggested was slightly more complicated than what I've typed out. As 4 0 steel wool would definitely scratch the finish, this seems like a last resort; I'll stick with paper towels for now.
I wonder if a Magic Eraser is the same consistency as 4-zero / 4 0 steel wool, but having witnessed how a Magic Eraser can eradicate polish off a car, I am not going to start using one.
Continuing to use the paper towel, Minwax, and elbow grease; based on the prior advice, I am also wiping with the grain. Wiping with the grain seems to fade the stain faster than when wiping randomly. This task is more complex due to the two grain directions, but I will persist and update on noticeable changes. At this rate, I plan to purchase 4-0 steel wool on my next outing.
The stain (originally):
The (upside-down shot of the) stain (post-minwax + elbow grease):
Progress after applying more Minwax and pressure. Doesn't look like much progress, but maybe that's just the lighting.