By Jojo from Bouctouche, NB
Here is an explanation of why it works: the heat of the iron dilates the wood grain, and also evaporates the nail polish which is very volatile. Don't let the iron sit on top of the wood for too long, it will damage the wood grain and burn your table.
I hope it works on tables with different finishings. I know it worked on mine. Hope that helps lots of people staining my table with wood polish was so frustrating!
Following the above suggestion, I used a dry iron over a clean cloth and and the white stain (and the wax!) disappeared.
Note: I first used a facecloth with a line-texture in it and it imprinted the texture on my table. I then switched to a clean plain tea towel and everything was fine!
About The Author: This is article is an archive of a question and feedback from 2010.
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Regarding nail polish remover spilled on real wood table. Yes! The hot iron with white washcloth worked WONDERS! I was stunned!
By Jojo from Texas
My daughter just spilled a bottle of nail polish remover on my hardwood table. It left huge white marks plus spill droplets all over it. (The bottle totally poured out before she could grab it). I applied mayonnaise and ashes for an hour, wiped and removed and then ironed. The end result? I thought I'd have to have the entire surface refinished but you can hardly tell anything ever happened anymore! A little oïl on there and it'll be completely gone. Thank you so much!
The tip for the iron and white cloth for the nail varnish remover spillage worked wonderfully. Was sceptical at first as the table had a big white stain from the remover but it lifted it off completly. Just needed a coat of oil afterwards. Brilliant,
This article is an archived discussion from 2009.
Susie from UK
Note: Dab it up, because wiping it spreads the stain and removes MORE of the finish. After getting most of it up, I wet down some paper towels and cleaned it off the best I could. Like the other responses say, I slathered mayo all over the desk. My parents got home and I explained what happened. The mayo I used was low fat.
We decided the fat was what helped so we added olive oil and, like the other responses said, ashes (from the fireplace). We mixed it all up on top of the stain and left it for about an hour. After wiping up the mayo-olive oil-fireplace ash mixture, the desk looked much better. Less noticeable, but not gone.
This is article is an archived discussion from 2005. Test all cleaning methods in an inconspicuous spot first.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
My daughter spilt nail varnish remover on our small table. The stain is white and very rough; what can I do to put it right? The table is made of yew, and highly polished.
Since this was nail polish remover, it has done to the table what it was meant to do to your nails; removed (or at least ruffled) the finish. So the sanding and refinishing will be necessary. Probably the whole table top since you will probably never be able to match the refinished area to the rest of the tabletop.
An alternative to consider is painting instead of staining the wood. Being sure to sand with the grain of the wood, get the roughness restored to as smooth as possible. If you have to spot sand too much, you may create a dip of sorts in the surface. So sand the rest of the tabletop as well, at least the surrounding areas...always with the grain, never against. Then paint the table top with a complimentary paint color. Painting is much easier to do as well as it covers the affected spot better than any stain would especially since you may not be able to sand far enough down to get all the original stain/finish off.
I just reread your post that the table is yew. Painting is probably the least desired effect you are wanting. The high polish is just a very thick layer of clear varnish. The whiteness is the result of the remover trying to break it down (so it could be removed).
Sanding will work, but a faster solution might be to strip the entire surface of the table chemically with a paint or varnish stripper product available most anywhere. Then redo that thick coat of clear varnish.
It may be worth it to seek out a professional furniture refinisher to do this work to get the best result for the beautiful yew wood.
I spilled finger nail polish remover on my wood table. Is there anything I can do to restore the finish?
Really, the only thing you can do is to refinish the whole top. Sand it down good and reapply some polyurethane. Being the klutz that I am, I have now refinished my coffee table 3 times! LOL
If your top is veneer, please do not sand your table. You could ruin it completely. Carefully remove the finish on the table top with one of the commercial products offered at the hardware or other stores. DO NOT let it drip on other parts of the table or you will end up having to redo the whole table. Your best advice will come from the store personnel who know "how to" restore your table.
You will have several other steps to this process to return your table to useable condition.
I dropped a bottle of nail polish on our tile floor and it splattered on the leg of our table. My hubby used nail polish remover before I could tell him no and now there are dull lighter white spots, almost like a water stains, on the wood and the varnish is gone. I called Pottery Barn and of course nobody can remember the name of the varnish since it is an older piece.
Should I just varnish it with clear and leave the spots? I have heard about the iron method, but I am scared. I feel so horrible I want to cry about my floor and my table! Thanks for all your help!
By lacullinane from Omaha
You have stripped the stain with the nail polish remover. Look for products in the paint store for spot touch ups. They may have something that will fix the spot. Sadly, I think you are going to have to refinish the whole table top to get a good match.
By Palika from Rancho Cucamonga
In my experience nail polish remover takes off the finish of things, so you don't want to "remove" the mark, but to cover it or restore the original finish. We would have to know what your table is made of in order to help you with that. It may not be possible to repair it. I dropped some nail polish remover on the waistline of fake suede dress; there was no way to fix the mark as it removed the fuzziness. A friend suggested I tie the belt in the front and put a broach on it to cover the mark. Worked well. Otherwise, the dress was ruined.
My little girl spilled nail polish remover on our big new wood table. Now there is a big white bumpy spot on the table. She spilled almost the whole bottle! Our grandma is here; our dad is on vacation! What is he going to do? What should we do about our brand new table, to make is just like we just bought it?
I don't know how to fix your table top, but I do know it is fixable. The nail polish remover has removed the varnish, and perhaps the stain on your table top. Two things to do. Google for information online. There are instructions for just about everything on Youtube, and I think you should find some answers there. Secondly, you can go to a local store that sells paint and varnish - whatever good quality store you have in your area. Ask for help from a salesperson who knows the paint products; there are products for spot touchups and repair that may work very well.
The same thing happened to me! I just know what not to try. my mom tried to use this silver for washing dishes thing and it just left scratch marks! Don't even try wax it doesn't do anything! Good luck to the others also! If you find an answer please tell me. My mom is totally desperate. She bought that table for thousands.
There is no option for this but to strip the whole area wether it is a leg or a top. Then you will have to decide how to refinish the item. Proffessionally is the best solution but is the most expensive as many of these finishes are french polished which tales some considerable skill to do. others are a lacquer sprayed on in layers.
The main problem is in colour matching and may require mixing different shades to get the desired effect. If yuo are determined to DIY then please got to your library get some books on the subject then practice on some similar timber or veneered woods. starting French Polishing is simple and just requires brushing but the hand finishing takes a delicate touch and some practice to achieve that glass like finish. Best I can offer in the circumstances . good luck. john m.
How do I remove nail polish remover from a wooden table?
By Mary Lou D.
I don't think you have to remove the nail polish remover, if it is what I am thinking it is. What will have happened is that the nail polish remover will have removed the finish on the table. Without knowing what it is was finished with, it is difficult to know what you need to do to repair the spot. Try googling for information on sites about furniture repair. Also try youtube. There are videos on there that tell you how to do just about anything. You could also go to your local hardware store and have a look at the products that are available for furniture touchups.
What's happened is the nail polish remover has removed the finish from your table. I would try a furniture touch up pen. It won't be an exact match, but likely will look better than it does right now, and won't cost nearly as much as refinishing the whole table.
Next time just throw down some newspaper, or a piece of cardboard and that should prevent it from happening again.
I've spilt nail polish remover on the top and down the front of my bedside table, which is pine. How can I remove this without wrecking it? Help!
I have spilt nail varnish remover on my mum's oak table and it has left a big white mark down the leg. Any suggestions?
Well I got told to put mayonnaise and ashes on the table and let it sit for 5 minutes, then gently rub it into the stain with a cloth (which should also help to remove the ashes and mayonnaise.
Next wet a cloth and put some soap on the table, then rinse the table and let it dry well.
Then pour 4 Tbsp's of wood oil onto the stain, then rub it all in. Then it sit for 10 minutes, and wash the table again with the soapy cloth.
Then get another cloth and dampen it slightly and put it over the stain. Put an iron onto the cloth (using high heat) and rub it in a slow circular motion, keep checking your stain. DO NOT let the iron sit or it will burn it more!
Hope it helps xx
How do I get nail polish remover off a wood table? It took the finish off, how do I get it?
By Jessica S.
I'm sorry to say, there is no 'getting it off' because the nail polish remover has removed the finish on that surface. You're going to need to re-stain and then re-varnish at least the spot that has been stripped by the nail polish remover.
There are several products in the paint aisles of any big-box store (WalMart, Target, Home Depot, etc) or you can go to a dedicated paint store (Benjamin Moore, etc). Staff at any of the stores should be able to help you match the stain and find the small cans of the stain and varnish.
The stores will also have free info and instructions brochures to help you get a good application that will last a long time.
I was doing my nails at the dining room table, I will not do that again. The bottle of nail polish remover spilled and ate a place about 5 by 5 inches of the stain off of my table. Is there any easier fix than refinishing the entire table top?
I accidentally spilled drops of acetone nail polish remover on a wooden table, the color of mahogany. Five stains, the size of quarters, on bottom tier of round corner table.
I tried to cover with them with exact color stain. This did not work. How about spray painting that one tier with same color? Please advise on this or any other solutions anyone may have. Thanks.
How do you remove a nail polish remover stain from a dark wood kitchen table?
My daughter was using nail polish remover and spilled some on our wooden dining table. There are now white areas where the finish is damaged. Any ideas on how to fix this?
If they are small areas, you could get a matching crayon made for wood at the hardware store and touch it up. If the area is too large, you will have to refinish the top. In the future, have your daughter do her manicures on a table that is protected.
In the past I have had similar happen. I sand it down, stain and reseal it. You can do just a small area at a time. Lowe's carries very small stains and sealers just for this purpose. The are less than an ounce and come in a little foil pouch type of package.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
My daughter got nail polish remover on our cherry wood table and it removed the finish. What is the best way to get the finish back? Are there any cleaning supplies that will bring the finish back or make it not so obvious?
By andreandave from Lancaster, PA
I once spilled some isopropyl alcohol on my tabletop and it messed up the varnish :-( I washed the entire table vigorously with soap and water and then used a rag to wipe a good amount of sesame oil on and around the spot, let it sit until the oil completely soaked in to the damaged portion and then lightly wiped the table with a soap and water rag. You can still see the damage, but it's very faint.
About the only other thing you can do is sand and re-varnish. There are lots of other ideas in the ThriftyFun archives below. (03/25/2010)
We had permanent marker on our expensive oak tabletop. My wife used nail varnish remover to remove it, but it's now left 3 dull marks on the table. How do we repair this to make it look right again?
By GAZB from UK
A professional would sand it down to bare wood and start over. If you can't do that, then first you have to find out if the oak is oiled, varnished, lacquered or has a plastic / epoxy coating.
If it is oiled, get some Swedish Furniture Oil and let some soak into the dull spots, then wipe the whole table down with it.
If it is varnish, you will need to find some old fashioned, turpentine based spar varnish. Dab some on sparingly and wipe it with a cloth. Repeat the next day and the day after. The trick is to build it up slowly to the right level and shine.
It probably is not a lacquer or a two component epoxy, but if it is, it will always look a bit different, no matter what you do. In that case you might as well rent a belt sander and sand down the top. Never move the sander in the direction of the belt. It will gouge! Always move it at a right or almost right angle to the belt, and if possible in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Then use an oak filler and lightly sand it after it is dry, and top it with your choice of finish. My personal choice is old fashioned spar varnish. Have fun! (08/26/2009)
Last time one of my girls did that, I just sanded the table top and re varnished it. It's not that hard to do! (11/04/2008)
I've just spilled nail polish remover over my 'rents wooden coffee table, trying the mayo trick as we speak. Hope it works! (12/11/2008)
I used nail polish remover to clean the stains my daughter left behind with nail polish. I got a huge area of cloudy white stain. I followed the advice here - put a dab of mayo and rub in some ashes and just use a sponge to rub into the stain. It sure looks much better.
Thank you so much! I couldn't sleep all night because of my stupid mistake. (10/20/2007)
I was just soaking my nails in nail polish remover to get my acrylic nails off and I just spilled the whole bottle on my mom's wooden table, I quickly tried to get if off w/ a towel, and it ends up taking the finish off of the wood. I panicked and waited for my parents to leave and I went to go get wood
re-finisher and lightly dabbed some on the spots. It looks a little better, still noticeable though. (12/05/2007)
We put mayo just let it sit there. Your table might smell like mayo, but it gives it a glossy shine and it works. (01/05/2008)
Mayonnaise doesn't work. I tried 'colron repair, ring remover'. Leave on for about half an hour and it works. Stain is totally gone. (01/29/2008)
Mayo worked for me, left it on 30 minutes, wiped it off, and presto, the mark is gone. (03/07/2008)
Use mayo! (06/14/2008)
By random guy
Here is what worked for me after I spilled nail polish remover all over my beautiful wooden table:
First, I mixed ammonia with hot water and washed the table with it, squeezing extra water over the stains. Then, I used a steel wool pad to scrub the stains, which seemed to help clear them up. After everything had been scrubbed well, I cleaned the table again with the ammonia and water. Once it was dry, I dribbled baby oil over the places where the stains were and let it sit there for an hour before wiping it up. The table looks great, and I thought it had been ruined.
I hope this helps someone else in that situation.
I put a bottle of nail polish remover on the dining room table earlier and it made a mark and I panicked and put it on another part of the table and it made another mark.....bad. I tried the mayo and it worked. Though it has not got rid of the mark completely. Oh well. My mum is cool with it. Try the mayo trick though. IT WORKS! (10/26/2008)