How to fix a burn on oak furniture

Updated February 21, 2017

Oak furniture's golden tones give a home warmth, and the durability of oak wood makes it a good choice for families. Oak furniture requires basic care, such as wiping up liquids immediately, keeping the wood away from heat sources and placing pads under lamps and other objects that could scratch the surface. If serious damage occurs, you can repair oak furniture by gently sanding the surface and reapplying the protective finish. A serious burn on your oak furniture can be fixed by using a few methods to remove the damage and restore the finish.

Remove the burnt surface with a polish or non-abrasive cleaner and a cloth, if possible.

Scrape away the burnt surface wood with a sharp scraper to try to remove the finish and expose burnt wood fibres. Remove scraped debris

Apply household chlorine bleach just to the burnt area keeping it away from the rest of the wood as much as possible. Allow the bleach to sit for 10 minutes. Soak up the bleach with a cloth and re-treat until the stain becomes a neutral grey.

Scrape down to the clean wood with a scraper or razor blade, if necessary, being careful not to cut into the surrounding wood. Remove a few burnt wood fibres at a time.

Clean out debris from the burnt area with a small brush or cloth. Ensure that all burnt wood fibres are removed and you are down to bare wood

Apply matching stain to the bare wood in several coats, taking care to keep the stain within the treated area. Wipe off excess stain in between coats with a cloth. Let each coat dry before applying another coat. Stop adding coats when the colour is at the closest match. Allow the area to dry thoroughly overnight.

Apply paste wax, blending the repaired area into the surrounding wood. Add additional coats to match the rest of the finish. Buff the area to a lustre with a cloth.


If the burn mark is blistered at the centre, hold a knife blade at a right angle and scrape the area with a side-to-side motion.

If the cavity created by removing the burnt wood is deep, apply thin coats of varnish or shellac with an artist's brush to build up the area. Rub lightly with steel wool dipped in paste wax.


Avoid using a large amount of water to clean burns and stains from wood furniture. The water can swell and crack the wood, adding to the damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Household chlorine bleach
  • Non-abrasive cleaner
  • Polish
  • Scraper
  • Razor blade
  • Stain
  • Cloths
  • Small brush
  • Paste wax
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