How to repair water rings on an oak table top

Updated February 21, 2017

Water rings or water stains on oak table tops detract from the richness of the wood. When coasters aren't used, the water that condenses on the sides of drink glasses drips down onto unprotected table tops, which leads to white water rings. The water absorbs into the wood, making the marks difficult to remove just by wiping with a cloth. Certain products break down the substance in the rings, allowing their complete removal from oak table tops.

Wipe the oak table with a soft cloth to remove excess moisture or dust.

Dip a finger into the car wax and apply it to the water rings. Allow the wax to dry for 20 minutes.

Buff the wax and water rings from the oak table by wiping with a soft cloth and using rotating motions.

Spray furniture polish onto the oak table after removing the water rings, and wipe clean with a soft cloth.


Use coasters to prevent water rings from forming on table tops.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloths
  • Car wax
  • Furniture polish
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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.