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Martin, Electrical Engineer
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 4944
Experience:  Design, construct, fix and grow stuff around and in the home.
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while washing my wood furniture/kitchen cabinets yesterday

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while washing my wood furniture/kitchen cabinets yesterday I really messed up with an Ethan Allen club chair. For whatever reason, the product I used on one of the arms removed a portion of the finish right down to the bare wood! What happened and can I even touch-up the area without having to take it in to a professional?
Hello and welcome. Yep, you really dissolved the varnish. I advise you to go to a pro refurbisher because there is many things to get right. The most annoying is the texture as there is big chance your hand touch the area a lot, the color, the thickness and the way it reflect light. Also the liquid color of a varnish is not exactly the color it will have once dry and polished.

One quick thing you can do if you don't want to invest is to just polish slightly the area with pressure or a rotating tool in cotton so that the chemical reaction texture is at least removed but that will just make it a tad better than currently.

It is even possible that the pro have to redo the whole section. At worst redoing all the chair. If you have multiple chair it become even more a problem because redoing the whole chair can make it loo odd compared to the others.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

interesting but don't know how I dissolved the varnish if I used a wood care product. I first used a product for wood floors and then washed the whold arm with Murphy's Oil soap. That's a real bummer..hate hauling a chair around, thankfully I only have one.


I would need to know the wood floor product and the finish used on the chair to really know. I personally clean with very diluted vinegar and then apply a furniture polish each year (and only on the places with possible abrasion).

About Murphy's Oil soap, i don't like the product myself. Here is some info on it (it is in context of floors but the comment still apply):
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