I'm repairing a used desk made from black carob (it's harder than white oak to give an idea) which only had a wood wax finish. It's been damaged all around its base by dog urine. The old owner of the desk told me that his dog has peed on it 2-3 times per day for about 2 years, and he used to clean up the mess with pure Clorox.

After sanding for a long time I could take out the wax, besides having removed as much as I could from the impregnated urine in the base (not all unfortunately, if you know about another method apart from water and soap, please tell me!!).

My question is (after all this work) which kind of wood finish would you recommend I apply all over the surface for preventing dog/cat urine staining/discoloring it again? I've read about varnish or polyurethane finishes (water and oil-based) but I still have many doubts (I'm new to restorations).

Edit: I washed the urine impregnated surfaces again, now with a mixture of Clorox lowered with water and sodium bicarbonate. It seems to have worked (I no longer feel smell).

  • 1
    Hi welcome to SE There are cleaning agents specifically made for urine but I'm not sure if anything available to the general public is as effective as the ones used by commercial cleaners. And availability is partly dependent on where you're located, which you haven't specified here or in your profile. Forgetting cleaning for the moment, shellac or a shellac-based primer can work as very good sealers to odours as well as to staining. Now all that asde, are you sure this desk is worth the expense and time to deal with its issues?? – Graphus Sep 14 '19 at 23:13
  • Hi @Graphus, thanks for your answer. I´ve just looked for a shellac based primer, and I found a Varathane water based polyurethane (idk if that´s really a shellac). Another option I´ve recently found was a wood impregnator "Top-Oil" from Osmo which supposedly gives good results. Which would you choose based on your experience? I´m from Argentina. I usually read this woodworking forum because we have almost no active ones in Spanish. It's hard work but it's worth doing it because a new desk is very expensive here, and this was "ok" (except its 30 cm from base).I hope to finish it soon! – alex Sep 17 '19 at 16:06
  • Shellac primers should be clearly identified as shellac. And their cleanup solvent will be alcohol. The Varathane product you list is a waterbased clear finish. Waterbased finishes can be fine but I'd recommend oil-based varnishes over them as a rule, these tend to be stronger and they are easier to apply for a good finish. About the Osmo, I would strongly steer you away from that, in fact ALL Osmo products for various reasons, but one simple one is that they are very expensive! And they don't represent good value for money over alternatives (partly my opinion, partly based on comparisons). – Graphus Sep 18 '19 at 7:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.