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WHITE LACQUER TABLE HAS TURNED YELLOW



A discussion started in 2002 but continuing through 2019

2002

Q. I HAVE A WHITE LACQUER TABLE. I NOTICED THAT THE TOP SURFACE OF THE TABLE IS NO LONGER WHITE. IT LOOKS YELLOW. IS THERE A PRODUCT I CAN USE TO GET THE SURFACE WHITE AGAIN. ALSO, I HAVE A SMALL GLUE SPOT ON THE TABLE. IS IT POSSIBLE TO REMOVE THE GLUE SPOT WITHOUT DAMAGING THE TABLE.

NICHELLE J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- HARTFORD, Connecticut


May 27, 2009

A. Hi, Nichelle. Clear or white paints, lacquers, and coatings turning yellow is a very common complaint. The yellow color is an oxidized color from age or exposure to UV light and it's unlikely that anything can be done short of refinishing.

There are countless "glues", ranging from water soluble ones like children's paste and Elmer's white glue, to contact cements, acrylic super glues, etc. It is nearly impossible to predict what will dissolve an unknown glue without dissolving the lacquer. But if there is a non-visible lacquered area you can experiment with, I would try soapy water, rubbing alcohol, ammonia, and Acetone [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] in that order. When you find which of these will not damage the lacquer, try them on the glue.

Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey



July 2, 2019

Q. I have a white lacquer bedroom set that I've owned for many years. Some surfaces have turned yellow, while others have remained pure white. This can't be due to UV exposure or oxidation. Night stand tops are still pure white while drawer fronts are completely and evenly yellowed. A small drawer front inside the armoir is completely yellow and it has never been exposed to UV.
I'm wondering if Ashley furniture used 2 different batches of lacquer to paint the furniture? Is there anything I can do to restore the white color on the yellowed surfaces?
Thank you.

Allan Bern
- Palm Harbor, Florida USA

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