How to Fix Wood With White Discoloration

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White discoloration is caused by moisture.
White discoloration is caused by moisture. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images)

White discolorations on wood are stains caused by moisture penetration and occur most frequently on wood furniture items. The moisture can be the result of actual water or excessive heat forcing moisture into the wood. Tiny moisture droplets get trapped inside the pores of the wood and cause a white appearance. Removing these white stains requires a variety of approaches to evaporate the moisture in the top wood finish and down in the actual wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair dryer
  • Furniture oil
  • Rubber gloves
  • 4-0 steel wool
  • Cloth
  • Furniture wax or polish
  • Toothpaste (optional)

Plug in a hair dryer and set it to the lowest heat setting. Turn the air flow on and direct it at the white discoloration. Hold the hair dryer at least 6 inches away so that you do not scorch the wood. Continue holding the hair dryer in place until as much of the stain disappears as possible.

Wait until the wood cools and then pour 1 teaspoon of a wood oil product directly on top of the white discolorations.

Put on rubber gloves and rub the discolored area with a 4-0, or 0000, steel wool pad, which is very fine. Use circular motions as you rub to polish out the white stains.

Wipe the wood surface with a clean soft cloth to remove the oil. Examine the wood for signs of remaining discoloration and repeat the process as needed until it no longer remains.

Apply a furniture wax or polish to the wood to prevent future white discolorations from developing.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also try applying 1 teaspoon of toothpaste to the spot and then polish the stain out using the steel wool. Wipe the wood using damp cloth afterward to remove all traces of the toothpaste. However, use this method with care, as it may damage the wood. Test in a small, inconspicuous area beforehand. Do not use this method on antique furniture, since it may damage them.

References

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