How to remove water stains from a lacquer finish wood surface

Written by constance barker
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How to remove water stains from a lacquer finish wood surface
(Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Water stains appear as white rings or smudges on a wood surface with a lacquer finish. Water dries on the wood, but leaves behind minerals that show up as white stains or crust embedded into the surface of the wood. The minerals normally contain calcium or magnesium. Removing the stains completely requires a substance that softens their grasp on the wood surface.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cloths
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Furniture polish
  • Rubbing alcohol

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    Petroleum Jelly

  1. 1

    Wipe dust from the lacquer finish with a clean cloth.

  2. 2

    Put 1 tsp of petroleum jelly onto the water stains. Gently rub the jelly into the marks on the wood surface with your fingers. Allow the jelly to remain on the stains overnight.

  3. 3

    Wipe the jelly from the wood surface with a damp sponge.

  4. 4

    Spray the wood surface with furniture polish, and wipe it clean with a soft cloth.

    Rubbing Alcohol

  1. 1

    Pour 2 tbsp of rubbing alcohol onto a soft cloth.

  2. 2

    Rub the alcohol over the water stains, inspecting the marks as you rub. Add more alcohol to the cloth if required to remove the stains completely.

  3. 3

    Wipe the alcohol from the wood surface with a clean cloth.

  4. 4

    Spray furniture polish on the area to restore shine that the alcohol may have stripped away. Wipe the polish from the wood with a soft cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Use coasters on wood surfaces to keep water stains from occurring.

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