Black flecks under hardwax oil finish?

wsrhue

wyattspeightrhue
User
I Have a table that is supposed to ship out this week. It was finished five weeks ago and has been wrapped in a blanket. When I took the blanket off to do a final rub down and inspection, I started noticing grey - black flecks. The top is veneered white oak that is bleached. It has Saicos white color wax and followed by Saicos ward wax oil top coat. I have made quite a few bleached white oak tables in this manor. I have never encountered this problem before. I'm not sure what is causing these specks. All I can think of is mold under the the finish? My shop is not heated or cooled and I'm on the coast so its high humidity.

I'm expecting to have to do a complete refinish. Has any one ever experienced this or have any ideas?
 

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Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
If you recently did any kind of sanding on dark wood in the last couple of weeks, it is possible some of the dust might have been resident in the area.
I remember when we made a boat factory for Robalo they actually sprayed in a different area when doing black because of dust contamination.
 

wsrhue

wyattspeightrhue
User
If you recently did any kind of sanding on dark wood in the last couple of weeks, it is possible some of the dust might have been resident in the area.
I remember when we made a boat factory for Robalo they actually sprayed in a different area when doing black because of dust contamination.
It seems more like a discoloration of the wood than a piece of dust. I believe if it was dust I'd be able to pick it out or scrape it out of the finish with a razor blade.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
I have read of folks reporting (on another forum) that this sort of thing may happen with a transfer of metal particles onto the wood surface (from grinding or polishing of metal) and then the particles reacting with their finish materials to create a stain. Is that a possibility? Likely these were ferrous metals, not Al (as least as I recall the discussion).
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Get a good magnifying glass and shine a flashlight beam parallel to the table top surface. That should tell you whether or not the specks are on the surface or under the finish.
 

striker

Stephen
Corporate Member
Grasping at straws here, but wondering if you wipe with oxalic acid if it would react with flecks and lessen/remove them.
 

llucas

luke
Senior User
Hmmm...the blueish tint does speak of metal contamination...Maybe it was always in the wood? and brought to light by the finishing process?...or as Mark says...steel wool and tannins.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
The oxalic acid did the trick. I used a toothpick to apply it to each speck. So happy not to have to do a total refinish.
and you're sure you didn't miss a speck? ;):rolleyes::)
Great, glad that worked - any thoughts on the likely source of the stain? Metal from steel wool? Others?
 

wsrhue

wyattspeightrhue
User
and you're sure you didn't miss a speck? ;):rolleyes::)
Great, glad that worked - any thoughts on the likely source of the stain? Metal from steel wool? Others?
I would guess that it's from metal, but for he life of me I don't know how it got there. The flecks were not in jut one place and I do not use steel wool.
 

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