For years we used table cloths to conceal ugly heat rings caused by years of use. We were able to remove heat rings from the wood finish with Howard's Restor-A-Finish. Read our story below.
I am so excited to report the results of our weekend escape to the country. We met my parents at the little country house where my mom lived as a child. It is the house where I visited my Grandmother almost every weekend of my childhood. Anyway, my mom had heard us sing the praises of Restor-a-Finish and thought she would try some on my Grandmother's old dining table. It had heat rings that really made it look ugly. I had used Restor-a-Finish on other furniture in our shop with heat rings and had good results. So, I was really hoping we could work wonders with a table that was so special to us. I explained to my mom that she would need to use a little muscle on the heat rings. She tried and called to report that it did not work. I was disappointed for her; but, I figured we would give it another try. Well, we got an opportunity and drove up for a visit. We woke up at the crack of dawn and enjoyed a good cup of coffee-- for some reason it always tastes better there. Anyway, after we had our coffee, I broke out the steel wool and started working on a small heat ring slowly. After about a minute, I could see it starting to disappear. My mom had been scared to scrub the table with the steel wool afraid she would make the finish worse. If the task is to blend away scratches, there is no need to do much more than wipe the wood gently with Restor-a-Finish. But, when there are heat rings, we have found that gently working the area with the wood grain with an increasing amount of pressure works well. Do not be too forceful. Start lightly and increase the intensity just enough to get the heat ring to start to fade. Too much intensity can sometimes lighten the area more than desired and prevent a uniform result. I told my mom, I was going to give it some intensity because it was already ugly, I did not think we could really ruin it. When we finished, we just stood back and admired our results. These are the before and after photos of the same end of the table. The horizontal line in the photo is where the table top and a leaf meet. I know it is hard to believe that we are looking at the same table. I thought it might be good to share this experience if you are having some trouble removing heat rings. Just give it a little muscle, work in a small area, with the wood grain scrubbing about an inch beyond and across the heat ring. The Restor-a-Finish really will blend them away. We used Mahogany Restor-a-Finish, #0000 Steel Wool, and followed it up with Feed-n-Wax. Good luck with your project and I hope you get the chance to stand back in amazement like we did!