How to Repair Water Damage on a Coffee Table

Lead Image
  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-80
What You'll Need
Clean cloths
Hair dryer
Toothpaste (non-gel)
Baking soda

Water damage from a spilled vase or condensation from a coffee cup on a treasured coffee table can be devastating, particularly if it’s a table you have had for years and maintained properly. Accidents do happen.

If it’s a water spill that has left white marks or a blush on your table, it can be repaired. Unfortunately, if the spill has left fissures in the finish of the table that look like scratches, or if the paint has begun to peel, it means that water has soaked into the table and that the table will need to be refinished. If the spill on your coffee table has created water marks, follow the steps below to easily remove them using products that are already available in your home.

Step 1 - Prevention First

As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” To prevent future water spots from happening, it’s important that you provide family and guests with coasters of some kind to be used under beverage containers that are likely to leave moisture marks. If you’re having a many guests, even simple coasters made from poster board will do the trick.

Step 2 - Wipe Spills Quickly

If a spill occurs, or you notice condensation from someone’s cup or glass, wipe it up quickly so that the water will not damage the wood and the wood will be allowed to dry thoroughly. If you have a hand-held hair dryer accessible, use it to blow air onto the table to dry it quickly. By doing so, you can prevent a water mark.

Step 3 - Toothpaste Isn’t Just for Teeth

Although there are other household items that can be used, one item that will work is toothpaste. Using a clean, lint-free cloth, apply a small amount of non-gel toothpaste to the stain on your table. Slowly rub the toothpaste into the water spot. With a damp cloth, remove all the toothpaste from the table. When removing the toothpaste, rub gently. Dry the table with a clean, cotton cloth.

Step 4 - Mayonnaise Isn’t Just for Sandwiches

Another trick for removing water marks is to use real mayonnaise. Add a generous amount of the mayonnaise to your cloth and then rub out the water marks. If you leave the mayonnaise overnight on the stain and allow it to soak, by morning you can then use a clean cloth to remove both the mayonnaise and the water mark.

Step 5 - Baking Soda Solution

Make a paste of baking soda and water. Gently rub it with your finger or a clean cloth onto the water mark stain. Leave the baking soda solution on overnight and remove it the next day with another clean cloth dampened with a little water, making sure all of the paste is removed.

Step 6 - Polish the Table

Use your favorite table polish (lemon oil works well) to polish your table. Your table should now look like new.