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I left a can of Raid insect spray on top of a piece of furniture and unbeknown to me there was some sort of chemical goo that dripped off the can overnight and it seemingly ate through the surface and lightened the finish.

So I'd like to know how to go about fixing this. I did a quick search and read something about using a stain marker and then following up by applying some lacquer but I want to make sure I do the right thing. I'd appreciate any constructive feedback.

Thanks!

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This looks like solvent peeled up the urethane. I don't think you will have great success coloring it.

The best way to do this is to re-finish the entire top of the table. It's not as bad as it sounds, but if you haven't done anything like that before, then get a professional to do it. Experience is necessary.

The first thing I would do is sand the rings and use a little oil based polyurethane to "fill-in" the rings. If the color matches (it should), then lightly sand the area (make it all level). Then lightly sand the whole surface with 220 grit paper (not to remove the varnish, just prep it for a new coat). Keeping the old layer of varnish is usually better for making a smoother finish. Tape the unsanded edges and protect the other areas with news paper or plastic and recoat the (entire) top of the table with urethane. A spray-on clear coat might work.

If the oil based polyurethane did not match the color (the rings were lighter or darker) then you will need to sand off the old layer of varnish (on the top) and then refinish it. Matching the old varnish (on the sides and legs) may or may not be important. If the color is close and only different where it changes from the top to the sides, it will probably not be noticed.

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Stain markers are mostly felt pens. You can buy a kit of various colors. Surf the web using 'Stain Markers' as a search term and you will find plenty of suppliers.

There is some art to this as each stained wood color needs a very close match to look real. Some of these stains also partially dissolve the existing stain so they merge together. Go slow and do small sections first and check the results. Adjust colors for best match possible.

Move the pen or brush in strokes with the grain of the wood, starting with the lightest colors first, then move toward the darkest color. Do NOT coat with a clear lacquer until you are satisfied with the results, because you will need to lacquer the entire surface for it to look right. Use a thick coat so you do not have to do it twice. Doing so can cause ripples in the lacquer.

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