Monday, October 12, 2009

Ugh, Bad Pumpkin, Bad!

So after my children, I think my favorite thing in this house is my dining room table. It's the Big Sur from Crate and Barrel. Santa brought it to me last Christmas, and by Santa I mean two burly guys with a truck. But it was Christmas Eve, and I have been merry and bright about this table all year. I've loved it, dressed it up, and rubbed beeswax on it. And then, while we were out of town, my painted pumpkin exploded on it. Now the table is stained. You see, it doesn't have a varnish or poly coating, it's just a waxed, natural finish. So look.

Matt's mom called me Saturday morning to tell me the news. It must have happened during the night, and the mess sat on the wood for a while. She tried to clean it up, but it has soaked in. This stain starts in the middle of the table and runs off the edge. I am really, really bummed. I can't think of anything to draw the stain out of the wood. Maybe sanding it down and rewaxing it? Anyone have any wisdom? It is such a big area. Besides the stain, the finish is so beautiful; I don't know if I could get it to look that good again.

And it is all my dumb fault. I didn't mean to leave that pumpkin inside for so long, but in the rush of getting ready to leave town last week, I just let it go. I don't know if the pumpkin being painted could have made that happen? Like maybe it couldn't breathe? But once in Kindergarten, Laura painted a pumpkin all over, and it lasted a long time. Just to be safe, if you're doing the painted pumpkin, enjoy it inside for a couple of days and then move it out to the porch.

I'm thinking of emailing C&B and seeing if they have any advice. I would take it to a furniture expert to be sanded, maybe, but moving this thing is not trivial. It is really bombproof and weighs a ton. It's also eight feet long. I don't know if those people make housecalls. Sigh. Any ideas you have would be appreciated.

Matt and I got back from California tonight, and we are beat, but we had such a wonderful time. Pictures (and giveaway winner!) to come soon.

21 comments:

Erika said...

(Gasp!) Oh, man. I'm so sorry. Definitely call C&B, though I'm not sure how knowledgeable they will be. I'll ask our contractor, who does woodwork. You may have to have it refinished. I wouldn't try doing it yourself. This baby deserves professional treatment.

The Dental Maven said...

Yup. That's one spiteful pumpkin.

Ginny Marie said...

Oh, your poor table!

fraught said...

Aughhhhhh! Yes, a professional refinish might could do the trick... it may depend on how deep the stain penetrated. Good luck shugah.

Hootie said...

Step one: get several more painted pumpkins; enough to cover the rest of the tabletop...

Sjn said...

ooh, I hate that that happened. Yes, call C&B first, maybe they'll even come out. If not, try a bit of rubbing w/ steel wool like they use in furniture refinishing, it's less harsh than sand paper. And then some new wax, the same they used to finish the table.
Show us when it's back to new!

Michele Renee said...

It couldn't hurt to pour a bunch of baking soda on top of the stain, and then an hour later wipe it off. I say no need to move the table. I'd definitely try to use a sander/person to use said tool and see how far down the stain goes.
Curse that Martha Stewart!

Sara said...

Not sure about pumpkin pee but here's a tip on removing water stains?http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-remove-water-spots6.htm

You're gonna get through this...be strong! That stain will come out. ;)

(I heart fraught for saying "might could," a favo-rite saying 'o mine.)

The Messy Mom said...

I was going to say (GASP!) too. I am so sorry that happened. That pumpkin really was gorgeous. I am sure you will get it all worked out :(

Jane said...

Oh, Becky, that breaks my heart. I hope you find a solution! Maybe if Crate and Barrel doesn't have any suggestions you could call up a refinisher and ask him what you can do at home?

Jenni said...

that is TRAGIC!

I know that for water stains you can place a cloth on top of the stain and place a hot iron on the cloth to "draw out" the water. I don't know if it would work for rotted pumpkin juice. Worth a try, I think.

gretchen said...

Eeeehhhh. I feel your pain. I can offer no advice, just sympathy. And I was just about to do some pumpkin painting too. I guess not. I'll keep your table in my prayers.

The Stiletto Mom said...

I feel your pain. Three months into my "relationship" with my dining room table, someone set a chaffing dish on it without padding. Now I have tiny burn marks on it that years later I still wince at. We refinished our kitchen table which has a natural finish like yours, wasn't too big of a deal.

Becky said...

Thanks for the sympathy, guys, and the ideas. I just sent an email to C&B that was practically tear-soaked, so I'm interested to see what they advise. I sent them a link to this post so they can see the pic.

And SJN, steel wool might be a good idea. All of the wood cleaners I've looked at online suggest applying the product with steel wool. My thinking is, though, that the stain might be too deep for that.

What I just did was, on the edge of the table, where the goo just dripped down vertically and left a little trail (I don't think it shows in the picture), I went at it with sandpaper. I had some 150 grit paper, and I figured that nobody would notice anyway, since that side faces the wall. I rubbed and rubbed and was able to get most of the stain up. That is, I can still see where it was, but I bet if I put a coat of beeswax on it, it would be invisible. Now, on the TOP of the table, I have reason to think the stain goes much deeper, as the mess sat on it, so I don't know if I'm willing to take on that amount of sanding, or if it would be a good idea. I will see what the pros think.

Stiletto, what was wrong with your kitchen table that you had it refinished? And what did they do to it?

Long ago in a Domino layout, a family had a very mod house in which they had painted their Big Sur table white. I don't what to go that route, much as I love painting things white. Sigh.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Damn. A Gorbachev table!

Michele said...

If is was old and scruffy like most of the stuff I own I'd say do it yourself but it's not. So call an expert. You don't want to mess up that beautiful piece of furniture.

Matt & Erin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greiner said...

Use Toothpaste and a cloth. If needed, use 0000 steel cloth, then finish with your normal polish/wax routine.

Melissa said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I love that table and I know it is practically a part of the family for you. I don't have any suggestions but I'd be happy to help sand if you go that route.

melondonkey said...

i know a guy in atlanta who does furniture stuff. i'll talk to him and get you connected if it sounds do-able.

Becky said...

MelonD, please do! I would love to find someone who makes housecalls.