How to Remove Stain Drips From Wood

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Stain wood carefully to avoid drips.
Stain wood carefully to avoid drips. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Wood stain colors wood while still allowing its natural grain to show through, making it a versatile wood product. When staining wood, however, you need to take care that you don’t drop the wood stain onto other wood products. If you do, the wood stain will dry there and can be tough to remove without damaging the finish under the wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Paint thinner
  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • Soft-bristled brush

Dampen a clean cloth in paint thinner. The cloth should be wet but it shouldn’t drip.

Rub the cloth over the drips on the wood, but be careful not to touch the rest of the wood. Rub until the drips are gone and the area blends well with the rest of the wood.

Rinse the area with clear water and dry it completely with a clean cloth.

Sand the wood with 150-grit sandpaper if the process removed the varnish under the drips or if it lightened the spots too much. Sand along the wood grain until all of the wood appears uniform.

Brush the sawdust off the wood and re-stain or re-varnish it if necessary.

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