Karla asked: How do I remove nail polish from a dark, cherry wood nightstand? My three year old daughter put some nail polish on my nightstand. I am afraid to use nail polish remover. I don’t know if it will damage the finish. Please help.
When it comes to cleaning nail polish from wood, the knowing what NOT to do is just as important as knowing what you should do. For the safe removal of nail polish from finished woods, follow these steps. As always, begin with a spot test in a hidden area.
You Will Need:
- Clean cloths
- Warm water
- Dishwashing soap
- Hot water
- Wood polish
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Spray the nail polish with a good amount of hairspray. Wait 15 seconds for the nail polish to dissolve.
- Wipe the spot with a towel that has been dampened with warm water.
- Mix a good amount of dishwashing detergent with hot water to create a very sudsy cleaning solution.
- Dip the sponge ONLY in the suds (not in the water). Place it on the affected area and allow it to sit for 15-20 seconds.
- Clean the area with the sponge. Do not use an abrasive scrubber on the surface, use only a soft sponge.
- Wipe the area clean with a towel.
- Repeat steps 4 through 6 until the hairspray and nail polish are completely gone.
- Dry thoroughly with a towel.
- Add a wood polish or oil to protect the surface.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Do NOT use nail polish remover. It will remove the finish of the wood.
- Do NOT use a razor blade. You will damage the finish.
- Do NOT soak the area with water. Excess water will damage wood, even finished wood, as will even short stints of water exposure. Work with only as much moisture as you need to get the job done.
- It may help to apply tape, such as masking tape, around the nail polish spill. This will help protect the surround wood while you work on the stain. Remove the tape promptly after cleaning to avoid leaving a sticky residue.
I followed your instructions. Unfortunately, as soon as I sprayed hairspray on the mahogany wood, it literally ate the finish away (including the nail polish) to the bare wood. What a disaster. Now I will have to have that piece restained by a professional.
DO NOT FOLLOW THIS!!! IT MESSED UP MY TABLE EVEN MORE BECAUSE OF THE HAIR SPRAY!!! ARGGGG!
Actually, this got the white nailpolish off of my stained night stand. No ill damage from it and glad to have a clean piece again.
My dark stained table looks worse after using hairspray. 🙁