How to Remove Fingernail Polish From a Wood Surface

Fingernail polish stains on a wood floor or wooden furniture can be unsightly and can even ruin the wood. Removing fingernail polish is a mystery to many people, but understanding the nature of fingernail polish is key to its removal. Nail polish is a form of lacquer that can be removed the same as any other lacquer. Ultimately, you can remove these unsightly stains from wood and do so without damaging the surface or other finishes.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair spray in a pump bottle
  • Hair dryer or fan
  • Rag or cloth


    • 1

      Spray hair spray over the nail-polish stain. Use enough to cover the entire stain.

    • 2

      Allow the hair spray to set and dry on the nail-polish stain. Use a hair dryer on low heat or a fan to speed up the drying process.

    • 3

      Dampen the cloth and scrub the stain. The nail polish should begin to come off after a few minutes of scrubbing.

    • 4

      Spray again with hair spray and scrub the stain until it is completely clean. Allowing the hair spray to dry this time is not necessary.

    • 5

      Wipe the surface clean with a fresh damp cloth to remove any leftover nail polish and hair-spray residue.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try repeating the preceding steps if necessary for stubborn dried-on stains.
  • Use hair spray that is in a pump bottle only. Aerosol or mousse sprays will act as a solvent and damage the wood's coating.
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  • Photo Credit nail polish image by NatUlrich from

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