Can I stop watermarks from showing?


I refinished my kitchen table a week ago today. This was a bear of a project that didn't go as planned on every step despite the hours of research! I sealed it with polycrylic, 3 coats on the legs and 5 coats on the tabletop. We waited 24 hours before using it. I noticed 3 days later that condensation from some cups left watermarks! I'm so bothered that all my work looks like a mess. I have used polycrylic with great results before, although never on a table top. Should I have put more coats on? Should I sand and start again? Should I just use polyurethane (not my favorite look but I want a table that I can use and not baby!!) Sorry for the rambling... TIA for your help!

  8 answers
  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on May 17, 2020

    Hello. I have only used polyacrylic on corn hole boards boards and it’s been a wonderful experience. Have you considered calling the customer help support listed on your cans labeling? They may be able to give you the best information and how to directly remediate your situation in the most effective efficient manner.

    How frustrating this has happened. I hope you find a perfect solution

  • Gk Gk on May 17, 2020

    You can use a blow dryer to get those watermarks out. Just set it on high and go back and forth with the blow dryer until they disappear. Another trick is to place a kitchen towel on the watermark and use an iron on low to medium heat-making passes back and forth with the iron. The watermarks will disappear. It may be that your poly wasn't quite cured before you used your table. Even with poly on a table top I use place mats and hot pads whenever I set anything on the table. I do not think you need to redo it.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on May 17, 2020

    I would use a dish towel and an iron on low-no steam-lightly iron the spots, they should disappear. For the best protection for cups, use coasters or for a bigger area of use, place mats, dish towels, or hot plates.

  • Easy, insist on using proper coasters. This will happen to any wood table inside or out. There are many DIY tile coaster projects.

    To avoid scratches to your tabletop, glue cork or felt to the bottom of the tiles.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 17, 2020

    Hello Cassandra.

    I think you should have used Polyurethane and not polycrylic., as polychrylicis water soluble..

    • William William on May 17, 2020

      Polycrylic is polyurethane. It's just what Minwax calls it. Just like Xerox or photo copy.

  • Sorry you're going through this, Cassandra....I had a bad experience with polycrylic on a table and ended up sanding, restaining, and sealing again with polyurethane. Here's my post on it:

  • William William on May 17, 2020

    Polycrylic is polyurethane. It's just what Minwax calls it. Just like Xerox or photo copy. Polycrylic is a water based polyurethane. Goes on milky and dries clear. Oil based has a yellow tinge to it and yellows over time. I always use Minwax polycrylic, three coats, and have never had any problems. Did you allow time for each coat to dry before applying the next. Usually about an hour. I would remove the watermark with a cloth and warm iron. Then just lightly sand with 220 grit sandpaper. Wipe doown well and apply anr coat of polycrylic.

  • Betsy Betsy on May 17, 2020

    Hi Cassandra: Try putting some mayonnaise (yes the stuff in the fridge) on the spots. Let it set for about 10 seconds and wipe it off. That should do it, or you may have to do it a couple of times. Good luck