Water Stains on an Oak Table

Updated on May 16, 2008
T.L. asks from Arlington, TX
5 answers

My uncle put his wet rain coat on their oak table and now there is a dull spot where it laid. My aunt has tried lemon oil, but it didn't work. Is there anything any of you mama's can think of?

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answers from Dallas on


Try laying down a piece of wax paper over the water mark,then a thin towel or old t-shirt, and then putting a medium hot iron (no steam) on it for 10-15 seconds. My mom's coffee table had horrible water marks from glasses being set down without coasters, and it got them out like a charm. I learned this trick from a furniture-restorer, and he says that the wax protects your finish and the heat from the iron dries out the water that's embedded in the stain.

Good luck!




answers from Dallas on

If the water damage is light in color, it's probably just in the finish and can be fixed. It's when it's dark that it's probably penetrated and gone into the wood. You can get out all kinds of white rings and smudges with this little oil-soaked towel thing from Bed Bath & Beyond. I don't remember what it's called, but I've "restored" some pretty bad surfaces with this thing -- go in to BBB and see if any of them can tell you -- it worked better and faster than any home remedy I've ever used.



answers from Amarillo on

Aside from sanding the spot and putting an oak stain on it I really don't know that there is much you can do. I'd be interested in reading some of the other replies though because we have a very expensive bamboo table with the same problem because of people setting glasses down and not using coasters. Sorry I'm not much help! haha!



answers from Dallas on

You're never going to believe this - but MAYONNAISE! I swear it works. Not Miracle Whip, but real mayo. Rub mayo on there, leave it on for a while, and the water marks will go away. It has worked for me several times, I have all dark wood furniture, and the stains go away, even old ones.



answers from Dallas on

Mayo! the real thing, just like the other person said. I have used it and it works great. I slather it on before we go to bed and wipe it up in the morning. Presto- no stain!!!

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