Stop the Watermarks: Don’t Cook!

One method of removing white water marks (rings) is to wipe over with a lightly alcohol-dampened cloth. You’ll have more control if you fold the cloth into a pad, like a French-polish pad. Use only enough alcohol so you leave an evaporating trail resembling a comets tail as you wipe.

One method of removing white water marks (rings) is to wipe over with a lightly alcohol-dampened cloth. You’ll have more control if you fold the cloth into a pad, like a French-polish pad. Use only enough alcohol so you leave an evaporating trail resembling a comets tail as you wipe.

A friend recently asked me about the creeping white haze on the wooden cabinets over her stove. I told her the problem was caused by actually using the stove; she needed to quit cooking. That was an unpopular suggestion (she has two young boys, one of whom is reaching the hollow-leg stage of food consumption).

So plan B: Reverse the problem, then stop it from happening again with a new coat of finish.

I was pretty sure I knew what to do. But when the wood isn’t mine, I always like a second opinion. So I turned to Bob Flexner for his expert advice (and he had suggestions I’d not considered…which is in no way a surprise).

I thought you might like the benefit of his knowledge, too, so I coded the “How to Remove Watermarks chapter from “Flexner on Finishing.” You’ll find it, free, by clicking here.

(I can’t recommend “Flexner on Finishing” highly enough. It’s a hardcover, 4-color book with almost 200 pages (and 12 years’ worth) of expert finishing advice, for less than $16. Crazy.)

So I sent that article to my friend. But I suspect I’ll still go help her fix the problem. Hey – maybe she’ll make me dinner!

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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