How to Remove Watermarks the DIY Way

Hardwood furniture can be sturdy, classic and add a certain vintage flair to a room, but it’s also harder to maintain than it’s man-made successors, especially if you have young children or frequently entertain at your home.

There are 2 different kinds of watermarks; the kind that have a white-ish color and the kind that are much darker.

Fixing the white colored watermarks are fairly easy because the light colors means that the water has only affected the varnish.

One trick to try involves the use of either rubbing alcohol, camphorated oil or turpentine. Douse a cloth with one of the above (not all of them) and then set to rubbing the stain out.


Another trick is the sprinkle the spot with regular table salt and then rubbing it with a cloth moistened with either mineral oil or lemon oil.  Some swear by using vinegar instead of mineral or lemon oil.

Lastly, Budget Savvy Diva recommends simply opening the fridge and using some full-fat mayonnaise or Miracle Whip to remove water stains.  Simply spread the mayo on the water damage, let set for 8 hours, then wipe away.

If the watermark is darker in color it that means that moisture has permeated the wood and the whole area will need to be stripped and re-finished. There may be DIY tutorials on doing this, but we recommend hiring an expert as it can be much more costly and time consuming.

Happy DIY’ing!