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It's amazing, sometimes, the things people throw away. A week ago, I found two fans (electric ones on stands) that both work fine (well, one's not that great, but the other is FANtastic), dumped in the garbage. And a few days ago, I saw someone had dumped a perfectly good wooden desk in the garbage. I rescued it and it's in my living room right now. It's unvarnished wood, but seems to have been sanded pretty well. Only problem I could find with it, aside from being unvarnished, was some black stains on the top. See for yourself:

(The pictures were taken before it had dried completely, as it had been raining a little when I found the piece. But it's all dry now.)

I figure they're from someone using the desk without varnishing it, and getting their sweat and so on all over it. Anyway... So I'm wondering, how to clean these stains? I figure a belt sander ought to do it, but 1. I'm hoping for a better way, and 2. I don't own a belt sander, don't know anyone who does, and I am not going to buy one just for this. If there's another way to clean it, with some chemical or something or just soap and water, I'd love to hear it. If not, I'm wondering if I could rent a belt sander from someplace. Though I suppose I could always get sandpaper.

Anyway, please and thanks for any tips you might have. They'll be greatly appreciated! I hope to clean it up and then varnish it, as it's in perfect shape otherwise.

Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 6th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
It's very difficult to get stains like that out of raw wood. How about painting the desk instead? It's a very plain design, so it could work as a sort of folk-art or Shaker piece. Or, since it was a gift from the Garbage Goddess, and nobody else has to approve of what you do with it, you can go nuts and paint it fluorescent orange and stencil it with designs in blue glitter, or any other color scheme you fancy. (I'd recommend getting some Kilz, or equivalent - a very opaque white paint that acts as a primer coat, and keeps the stain from showing through whatever other paint you put on.)

Dec. 6th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
its because it looks "dirty" *eye roll* I like the idea of repainting it but make sure you use primer and sand the HELL out of it first.
Dec. 7th, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
Hand sanding will work like belt sanding only slower - start with a heavier grin and work down to a fine grit, wrap around a chunk of wood or a sanding block.

Alternately, you could paint the top and varnish the rest. Well, varnish the top over the paint, and use a heavy-duty varnish

Hi, found you via YsabetWordsmith's signal boost
Dec. 7th, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
Scouring it with baking soda paste may help somewhat, but the other comments are right; it'd probably look better painted or sanded/varnished.
Dec. 7th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
It's a nice desk except for the stains. If you decide to sand it Home Depot and probably Lowes rents power tools. I know the Home Depot by my house will even show you how to properly use the power tools if you don't already know how. They may also know if you can use a chemical to get the stains out instead of sanding it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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