How to Remove Water Stains From Wood

March 21, 2014 | By | Comments (3)

water ring on woodIf Junior put a mug of hot chocolate on the coffee table or a well-meaning guest forgot to use a coaster, don’t panic just yet. Water rings can, on occasion, be fixed at home. Before you get to work, assess the value of your furniture. If your piece is of significant monetary or sentimental value, it’s best to consult a professional before attempting to fix it yourself.

If you want to give it a go, treat white water rings on hard-finish furniture (caused by air pockets that form when the finish pulls away) by first letting the affected area dry. Then, work paste wax (To buy: $7, into the finish, rubbing briskly with a soft cloth.

For dark rings (caused by damage that has penetrated the wood) on waxed, oiled, or hard-finish pieces, you’ll probably need to dial a professional to sand the spot and refinish the entire surface.

If that stubborn stain just won’t budge, review the pros and cons of different types of wood before making your next big furniture purchase.


  1. Courtney

    We always put mayonaise on water rings and then wiped it up after a few minutes. Did the trick.

    March 21, 2014 at 10:47 am
  2. Regine

    I knocked over a waterbottle on my natural oak sidetable and only noticed much later, and after drying it off half the table was left whitish. Did not have much to lose so tried the mayonaise carefully and it worked. Put it on sparingly and only left it on a minute so I could always redo but it looks infinitely better already. Thanks for the tip!

    March 25, 2014 at 10:54 am
  3. Eu

    If you rub a few drops of cooking oil, and leave it for a few days, the white rings disappear. No need to buy any products.

    April 14, 2014 at 10:37 pm

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