How to remove water stains from wood?

remove water stains from wood

Whether your wood is waxed, varnished or raw, there are several natural or solvent-based techniques to effectively remove a stain of white or dark water.

Bleach, oil, white spirit, vinegar, toothpaste, sandpaper, oxalic acid … At each water spot its method. Here are all the techniques to permanently eliminate water stains on waxed, varnished or rough wood surfaces. Take your patience, follow the steps carefully and save your furniture, parquet or wooden staircase.

Water and wood: the stain insured!

First of all, if the water stain that you wish to eliminate is located on antique furniture, we advise you to consult an expert. It would be a pity if your wooden furniture loses value because of a stain of water!
Know also that, in any case, the more you act quickly against a water stain, the more likely you are to save your furniture, your floor or your staircase .
An overturned or simply forgotten glass, an overflowing flowerpot, a little awkwardness, inattention … and patatras, your wooden surface is stained. Whether it is oiled, waxed, varnished, treated or raw, there are different methods to eliminate a stain of water. But whatever technique you choose, be thorough and follow the steps and drying times carefully.

Eliminate white spots on waxed wood

When the water has penetrated the finish of the wood, but not the wood itself, the stains are white and easier to remove. To remove condensation stains on waxed wood there are 3 techniques. Follow the order to see what works and what does not.
– The first technique is to scrub the stain with mineral oil with a soft cloth and let stand overnight.
– If your first test with mineral oil has not given anything, you can try the same operation with white spirit, a solvent that will eliminate the stain in the wax layer. Do not forget to protect your hands with gloves! Once the stain disappears, you can then rub the entire surface of your wood with white spirit to avoid tarnished areas, then apply a layer of wax again.
– If your attempts at oil and white spirit do not work, you have one last option: mix some baking soda with toothpaste. Put your mixture on a damp cloth and rub in the direction of the veins of the wood, then clean the area with black soap. Improbable but radically effective!

Eliminate dark stains on the wood with sandpaper

If your wooden furniture, staircase or floor has a dark stain, it means that the water has gone through the finish and touched the wood. Arm yourself with 100 grit sandpaper and gently rub in the veins of the wood to remove the finish over the stain. Then, pass 150 grit sandpaper on the stain. Remove the dust and apply several coats of varnish to recreate the initial finish. Finally, mix the old and new polish with glass wool and wax the wood one last time . So, like new?

Bleach to remove dark spots on the wood

If the stain is too deep, the abrasive paper may not be adequate: you may sand the wood too much. To avoid disaster, bleach is your last resort. Protect your hands with gloves and apply bleach on your stain with a brush. Be patient and let it work for a few hours until the stain fades. Then use a clean sponge to clean the bleach and apply a layer of vinegar to the stain to prevent the wood from lightening even more. Let dry and brush with light coats of varnish to recreate the original look of your wood. Again, homogenize the old and new polish with glass wool and wax the wood one last time.

How to eliminate a stain on the raw wood?

Since raw wood is often lighter than waxed or oiled wood, you can allow yourself to scrub the stain vigorously with a quack brush, soaked in bleached water. If the stain is really encrusted, sand in the direction of the wood grain with sandpaper to avoid damaging your furniture. One last option: you can also lighten the wood with oxalic acid, also called “wood lightener”, available in all good hardware stores!

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