Table Leaf 2 repairing the damage

As noted in the last post we have 5 types of damage that need to be addressed, chipped veneer, scratched veneer, swollen MDF, open seams and color and finish loss.

Damaged table leaf

The first step was to glue down the loose veneer, then make and glue in a patch for the missing piece of veneer. Next I used a water thin cyanoacrylate to consolidate the expanded MDF. I have not found a way to re-compress expanded MDF but it will soak up the thin glue which causes it to harden and consolidate. It must be applied cautiously with a very thin applicator because it will dissolve some finishes. Once the MDF was consolidated the damaged areas were given a coat of thin shellac, about 1 lb cut. If you look at the first picture you will see that the grain filler had turned white in the damaged area. The thin shellac mediated some of this problem but not all of it. It was necessary to scrap out the white residue with sharp dental tool while wearing a magnifying visor.

Coloring started

After the grain was cleaned out I used a little earth pigment and french polish to color the grain and put a base color on the round edge. I used burnt and raw umber pigment. I dipped my finger in the polish and then the pigment and rubbed it in. If it gets too heavy you can just wipe it back with a little alcohol and a rag. Once I had the color close I sprayed it with a coat of acrylic lacquer.

If you look at the very edge of the veneer in picture 1 and 2 you will see that the color is faded, there were several other faded areas on that end of the leaf, the faded areas of color were blended back in with toners. The toners I use are colored lacquer, there are two kinds, dye and pigment. The pigment toners are slightly opaque and are used to help hide flaws in the base color of an object like a stain. Dye toners are transparent and are used to adjust and blend the final color. I stock around 25 dye colors and 5 pigment colors in spray cans, with these I can match just about any color.


For finer work I will mix my own toner and apply it with an air brush. When using the spray cans I use a trick taken from old time photography called dodging and burning. Basically you make a stencil and spray through it, by moving it slightly while spraying the edges blend in. Below is the stencil I used to blend the faded edge on the leaf.


The final step was to spray two more coats of acrylic lacquer. These final coats of lacquer seal everything and help hide the scratches. Because the veneer is so thin and on MDF there is nothing else that can be done. If the finish was not an open grain finish the scratches could be filled and retouched.


About millcrek

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