I purchased a table from a reputable furniture store and received it about 2 weeks ago. Everything seemed OK with the table upon receipt.

However, on 11/1, I noticed the "stains" (or lack of stain) and clear buildup of what appears to be glue on the table. I am certain nothing was spilled on the table; we only used a damp cloth to clean it. Customer service is saying that it is a result of spilled glue or spilled nail polish remover after we received it.

Is this a case where the glue was not completely sanded at the manufacturer and the stain did not adhere to the wood? Or does this seem more like a spilled glue/ solvent after delivery? stain1 stain1a tabletop

  • I'm presuming this is varnish and if it is sorry to tell you but there's only one good fix and that is to remove the current finish from the entire top, get down to bare wood and refinish. The refinishing part of the job isn't nearly as scary a prospect as it sounds but removing the old finish shouldn't be sugar-coated. Be prepared, it's not a quick or effortless process no matter which method you use. Also not cheap unless you already have all the materials on hand.
    – Graphus
    Nov 6, 2017 at 21:43
  • Thanks Graphus - any ideas what would have caused the issue? Right now I am in dispute of "who" created the issue... does it appear to be more likely the manufacturer or something that happened after delivery? Nov 7, 2017 at 15:47
  • Given how visible this is — you'd be hard pressed to miss it just glancing at the table, right? your eye goes straight to it — I think it's unlikely you'd have missed it at time of delivery or later on that day.
    – Graphus
    Nov 8, 2017 at 0:15

1 Answer 1


Thanks for the good closeup photos, that helps a lot with this.

Assuming the table is finished in a hard, dry finish that does look very clearly like solvent damage. As the person in customer service said, a good contender for it is nail polish remover as it's one of the few things in the average modern home that has a solvent* in it capable of quickly dissolving a tough modern finish. The location near an edge also makes a polish remover spill a likely suspect, nearer the centre it would seem less likely.

*Usually acetone but sometimes a lesser equivalent.

  • Ah, just saw this response. From what I've seen, nail polish remover creates a white film when it is spilled on wood and this film is very difficult to remove. Thanks for your response! I'm looking for as much information as I can get :) Nov 7, 2017 at 15:50
  • Polish removers that are pure acetone (or a substitute), and not a mix with water don't react the same way as those that do contain water. The white film effect is generally from the water, not directly from the action of the solvent.
    – Graphus
    Nov 8, 2017 at 0:10

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