How to Remove Dark Rings from Pine Furniture

Brooke asked: How do I remove dark water rings from pine furniture? Everyone gives the answer to white water rings, but mine are dark. I found the water ring too late and am drying it with a hairdryer which works well if found ASAP. How do I remove the dark rings? Thank you.

White water rings and dark rings are different problems and require different approaches to fix them. White water rings are caused by water getting under the surface of the finish. They are quick fairly easy to remove. Dark rings or splotches are caused by a chemical reaction between the wood and the liquid that was absorbed. Unfortunately, these require a more aggressive approach to remove them and restore the original look of the piece.

You Will Need:

  • Stripper (each piece will be finished with a different product, so find the type that will remove the finish on your particular piece)
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood bleach
  • Wood stain
  • New protective finish (again, find the type that is used on the rest of the piece or select a new finish)

Steps to Remove the Dark Rings:

  1. Begin by stripping the surface of the stained area. If it will be difficult to match it again, strip the entire surface for an even finish.
  2. Once the protective layer is removed, you will need to remove the discoloration from the wood. This can be completed with a simple sanding (be careful not to create an indentation in the wood) or with wood bleaching.
  3. Once the stain is removed, you will need to refinish the surface to replace the protective coating.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If you are unsure of completing this yourself, you can have the surface professionally redone.
  • If you don’t want to go to all the trouble of refinishing the piece, a table decoration, doily, lamp, or table cloth will hide the discoloration nicely.


  1. Rajeh says:

    Your blog is very nice. I really like this blog. Thanks.

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