I love beautiful wooden furniture – oak, maple, cherry, walnut, etc. - each wood has it’s own character and I love them all. Though I try to be careful in preventing water stains, either from glasses left on wood without a coaster or from water leaking out of a saucer under a freshly watered plant, I have still had more than my share of water stained furniture. Water rings commonly appear as a filmy gray spot and can be easy to remove. Follow one of the following steps in repair:
1. Rub with wax and 4/0 (very fine) steel wool.
2. Rub spot lightly with a soft, lintless cloth moistened with camphorated oil. Wipe immediately using a clean cloth.
3. Dip a small piece of cheesecloth in hot water to which has been added two or three drops of household ammonia. Wring cloth out tightly and rub spot lightly.
4. Place a clean, thick blotter over the spot and press with a warm, not hot, iron. If this does not work, rub with a cleaning polish or wax.
• White Marks, Spots, and/or Rings — White marks, spots, or rings on furniture are generally caused by some change in the finish due to heat, alcohol or moisture. Successful removal will depend on sufficiently warming and blending the surface without making it rough. Remember that not all substances will work on all finishes. Begin with the mildest and continue to try stronger ones until the spot has been removed. Blemishes of this nature are similar to others listed. Usually the direct cause of the blemish is not known so that they are treated as one group.
1. Mix equal parts of boiled or raw linseed oil, turpentine, vinegar and rub the surface gently.
2. Rub lightly over the spot with a cloth dampened in a mixture of water and household ammonia (one part water to two parts ammonia).
3. Place a piece of blotting paper over the spot and press over it with a warm iron.
4. For varnished or shellacked surfaces (not lacquered) rub the spot with a cloth dampened in essence of peppermint, spirits of camphor, or turpentine and water. Watch carefully to see that the surface does not become tacky or sticky. When dry, apply a good wax furniture polish or polish with the oil and turpentine mixture.
5. Moisten a small cotton pad with alcohol or dilute shellac in addition to a few drops of raw linseed oil. Rub over the spot in the directions of the grain.
CAUTION: Use care in working with any treatment that requires a cleaning compound. Some products are highly volatile and inflammable. Provide some means of fresh air in the meeting room if possible. Caution the group about smoking while treatment is in process. Read manufacturers labels and heed their warnings. Replace caps immediately after pouring liquids. Do not let containers of flammable liquids stand uncovered. Place cover on container while you work. Place rags or papers used in metal covered cans after use. Or destroy them at once.
Source: Linda R. Adler, M.A., Extension Specialist for Home Furnishings, University of Kentucky, HF-LRA.048;
FURNSURF.2; Revised 12/96