Remove Water Stains from Wood


Remove Water Stains from Wood

7 Tips for Removing Water Rings from Wood Furniture and Wood Surfaces Using Simple Household Products

Spilling a beverage or leaving a window open next to heirloom furniture can feel devastating when it happens. White rings from glasses or blotches from rain can ruin the surface of an otherwise beautiful piece of furniture. Fortunately there are a few solutions to remove water stains from wood that can reduce the appearance of blemishes and sometimes remove them altogether. Of course, if the damage is too great, a furniture piece might require refinishing, but you owe it to yourself to try a few of these easy water stain removal methods before throwing in the towel.

  • Sometimes carefully applied heat via an iron (with a cotton ironing cloth) will lift white rings – especially if they are still fresh. Applying heat removes some of the moisture trapped in the grain.
  • Toothpaste, very carefully rubbed in to a small area with a cloth. Use the white paste, not the gel, and don’t over-rub because the polish can alter the finish and make it glossy.
  • Mayonnaise – rub it over the stain and leave for an hour. Wipe it off and see if it improves the stain.
  • Equal parts olive oil and vinegar. Rub across grain with a soft cloth and see if it restores some of the depth and color of wood. This works the same way as mayonnaise, as it replaces oils in woods but it has a higher oil concentration.
  • Massage petroleum jelly into the stain (yet another variant of the oil remedy).
  • Combine a teaspoon or so of salt with a little water and put that on the stain. Salt has an absorbing capability but will also act as a mild abrasive so do this with caution, or you may polish the surface of your dresser.
  • Mix oil or butter with powdered charcoal or cigarette ashes and rub into the wood. Using a dark substance is especially effective on dark old furniture as it can replace some of the color and conceal the damage.

The main photo shows before and after images of a water-damaged walnut dresser top. I used the mayonnaise method to remove the water stains, which produced rather amazing results. Imagine my dismay as I woke to find those water rings after absent-mindedly leaving the windows open. As you can see in photos, it’s barely visible now. The stains were about two years old. If you treat water damaged wood right away, it’s likely to yield even more impressive results.

There are no guarantees that the methods above will fix your water rings and please try them at your own risk. Before resorting to refinishing or even veneering your furniture it may be worth it want to try some of these water-stain-removal hacks, however.

mayo water stain removal

Taking Baby Steps to a Modern Makeover

For years I’ve resisted furniture and decorative pieces that could be considered “modern” or “contemporary”.

tableI think my aversion to this style comes from growing up in the 1980’s. Remember what modern looked like back then? Very stark, sterile and cold. Black and chrome were the ultimate combination. What was modern then is now totally outdated.

Lately I’ve been looking at my furniture and thinking, am I stuck in a style rut? Has my avoidance of modern furniture made my house look like my grandmother’s? Perhaps I could just introduce a few pieces here and there to update my look. That way I won’t feel overwhelmed by committing to a specific style, one that not everyone can pull off. Read more

Taming the Paper Tiger: Humor, Filing and Adult ADD

beforeHere is a guest post from my friend, Addy Bell, over at Well-Ordered Chaos – enjoy!

This week, I tackled one of the most challenging organizational issues for anyone, let alone an adult with ADD.

I did the filing.

That’s right. I created a filing system for a couple of years worth of paperwork, and I did it all by myself. I am mighty!

The process was surprisingly emotional. Read more

Show me your desk – a challenge

I posted this picture of a minimalist desk on my blog recently and people weighed in with their comments – most said it lacked personality but some said they liked it and actually wanted theirs to look the same.

Read all the comments here 🙂

So I came up with a wonderful idea!

Let’s all show off our own desks – tidy, untidy, inspirational, messy, cluttered, minimalist, etc. Read more

August De-Clutter Challenge – Day 14

beforeNot only should this two hour de-clutter qualify as my last four for the week, but it should win me a prize for the weirdest de-clutter project. I de-cluttered my youngest son’s head.:)

My youngest had major cranial surgery when he was a baby and he has a scar from ear to ear across the top of his head. In an attempt to minimize that, he started growing dread-lock at the age of two. My husband joined in as an act of solidarity and support. You’d think this would be a care-free style, but they need regular maintenance to keep them lookin spiffy. Guess who gets that job? To the left is the before shot.

Read more

Cookbook and Vitamin De-clutter

Ok – Here are my Saturday and Sunday de-clutters for Marcia’s August De-clutter Challenge.

I de-cluttered my vitamin cabinet (I was shocked at how many expired items I had in there – good thing no one remembers to take vitamins around my house. I guess.) 🙂

After (I used one of these spice rack steps so I can see what’s in the back):vitamin-after Read more

You Can Get Organized!

Bathroom Before Organizing and DeclutteringI first talked to “Clara” 3 years ago on the phone.  She had heard me on the radio doing an interview on a talk show.  She was excited with what she learned on the air and called me almost instantly after the show was over.  We talked for 20 minutes and she decided that she could not afford our services.

Never one to give a hard sell, you either are ready to get help or you are not, I told her that we would be around if she decided she needed the help.  Three years later she called, “My friend told me that if I had let you come over when we first talked I would not be so frustrated now.” Read more

Getting the Kid’s Stuff off of the Floor

Hook for David's coatI don’t normally write a lot on my son, but this week I’m inspired, so what the heck! I bet that I am like a lot of moms at the end of the day. So, when school began this past fall, David would come home and his book bag, coat and shoes hit the floor by the front door and he goes running. I was a bit more understanding when he was in kindergarten, but now that he is a “big” first grader, this is just unacceptable.

So, I sat him down and had a heart to heart. Yes, he knew where his things belonged. Yes, he understands that his stuff on the floor looks bad and more importantly, it is dangerous where it ends up. Yes, he knows where his stool is to reach the bar… that is when he admitted the problem. Read more

Understand Before Your Reprimand

child's roomAbout a month ago, I asked my son (who is 7) to pick up his room and organize his desk. When I went into his room, his toys were all over his desk. I was frustrated. He had been instructed to put his toys away and instead I saw them all over his desk so random.

A long time ago, I promised myself that I would understand first. So, I held my irritation and asked him, “David, we talked about organizing your desk. Can you please explain to me what organizing you have done?” Read more

YOU Can Contribute Tips & Photos to Clutter Control Freak

freakWe want you to contribute tips, before & after photos, videos, stories, and advice to Stacks and StacksClutter Control Freak Blog. Other readers will get to vote on which contributions are the most useful. Here are some of the ways you can participate:

** Freak of the Week
Send us your nomination for the Clutter Control Freak of the Week with photos or videos and readers will pick the winner, who will get a cool prize.

The Freak of the Week can be a person, a process, a before & after, or a how-to.

** Clutter Hacks
Send us ideas, products, and tips on clearing clutter from your life. We especially love to hear about clutter hacks that take less than 10 minutes to do. Read more

Weekend Watchaholic? Here’s my watch storage solution

watches.pngOne of my obsessions in life is watches.

I thought I’d show you how I organise mine. The strange thing is we were burgled just over two years ago and all 13 watches were taken except the one I was wearing and right now, I’m up to 10 again.

I use a plastic organiser which I bought ages ago. It doesn’t take up much space but keeps my 10 watches beautifully organised.

The middle sections are removable so if I get any more watches, there’s space for them underneath. At the moment, I have a watch needing a new battery in the section underneath.

If you’re a fellow watchaholic, try this solution or this one.

Happy organising!

Closet cubbies and shelves: Simplify your life

closet_before2 closet_after2When I was visiting my sister I gave her an early birthday gift. Nothing says “Happy Birthday” better than brand new shelves to organize your front closet! Don’t you think?

I LOVE these cubbies and shoe stackers!! Look at how much room they create. I even have one in my own front closet if you remember.

I think my sister was most excited to finally have somewhere for her purse and a I’m outta here shelf! There is even a basket for ball caps and winter hats and mitts. Read more

Clutter Hacks: Consolidating by Keeping Like With Like

I don’t know if you’ve heard (he he) but I LOVE containers! What I also love though, and what you might not know, is that I love to use those containers to consolidate. I love just saying that word. Anytime I can consolidate many things into one, thereby taking up less space, makes me very very happy. Which is why I love grocery day. Well not the actual grocery shopping really, but the putting groceries away part. Again weird, trust me, I know!

Seriously though, this consolidating thing is addictive. I’m obsessed with it. And don’t even get me started about how snakey I get when there are TWO boxes of the same thing opened at the same time! I MUST pour one into the other and shove the whole thing back into ONE box. I MUST or I can’t go on with my day. I’m like that when I lose my favorite pen too but you’ve probably heard enough “freakness” for today:)

I turn this (L) into this(R):

Now come on doesn’t that just say fun to you?
Read more

Uncluttering: You’ll Soon Be an Addict, Like Me

Sometimes just getting started is half the battle….My brother and sister-in-law have a nice bookcase in their living room that holds books, photos and toys. It had gotten overly cluttered and was driving them crazy. With two young kids in the house, it was just one more thing in their long list of to-dos. Yet everyday there it was, mocking and frustrating them.

bookcasesOnce you see how easy and rewarding it is to tackle one small space, the impact of those results will make you want to do it over and over and over again….until you become an addict like me. Read more

Learning to Love Again…

Here’s a dilemma I faced after moving into my new house.

I have a hand-me-down white dresser that was really boring looking and useless, considering I didn’t need it for clothing storage (I now have walk-in closet).

I also needed TV stand and solution for storing videos and DVD’s. But I didn’t want to use an entertainment center in my room, because I didn’t want my bedroom to look like a living room. I also couldn’t afford to buy new furniture, given that all of my extra money was eaten up in the move.

So instead of wallowing in financial depression, I decided to get creative. To give my ugly white dresser a “facelift”, and make it ten-times more useful than it was before (thus loving it enough to not replace it). Read more

MISSION:Organize a Craft Space – Before & After Photos

before1Atlanta’s Kim Banta has quite the creative eye. She used to do every craft under the sun, until I got hold of her. Kim’s 17 x 19 foot bonus room over the garage is her craft and project space. It looked like this (left) when I first saw it.

After many (MANY) hours of planning, elbow grease, both on-camera and off, as well as having just the right products, you can see the result below. Read more

Conquer Chip Clip Chaos

chipclips.jpgI’ve often said the best solutions are the simplest ones. Case in point: My “carbinet” at home is always a problem. We call it the carbinet because it’s the cabinet where all the carbohydrates live. Chips, pretzels, crackers, bread, and stuff like that is stored there.

Anyway, where there are chips, there are chip clips and we have a bunch of those in there too, which has been driving me nutty for months. Clips of all sizes end up all over the cabinet, underneath things, half the time they fall out when the cabinet is opened, and they’re just generally a pain in my behind. A few days ago I had enough, so I attached the little buggers to the inside of the cabinet door with adhesive Velcro and voila, my chip clip chaos is a thing of the past! [LG]Try these![/LG]

So quick, so simple and practically free, and best of all, I’m not annoyed anymore! And isn’t ending life’s little annoyances so much of what simple organizing solutions are all about? What simple organizing solutions have you come up with in your own life to eliminate those nagging little irritations at home or at work? I’d love to know!


Steps to organizing a lazy susan

cabinet beforeThis morning I tackled my lazy susan. I use the top shelf in this cupboard mainly for spices and the bottom cupboard is my baking shelf. However I haven’t organized it in over a year and it was definitely due to be done.

I always have to laugh because for a person who doesn’t enjoy baking I sure have a lot of baking supplies…what’s with that?! You can’t say I don’t try…lol.

Whew…definitely overflowing with stuff spilling out everywhere and clearly no boundaries present anymore. I couldn’t stand it a moment longer so I set to work. First I pulled everything out onto the counter. The mess got so much worse before it got better. Read more

Label Your Stuff!

I know I’m not the only one out there who lives and travels with a mobile phone, portable GPS unit, and an iPod (I used to have a PDA but I broke it!) Some of you have even more electronic stuff than that. I know between the car chargers, the wall chargers, and the computer and camera sync cables, you get sick and tired of having to think about which charger goes with which piece of equipment. Zoinks, Scoob!

You know the scenario… you’re driving down the road and you need to plug in your portable GPS unit so you can find your next stop. You reach for the car charger and plug it into the dashboard outlet, then try to connect it to your GPS but it won’t fit. You quickly realize you grabbed the phone charger instead, so you start feeling around on the floor for the GPS charger. They look similar so it’s easy to mix them up and grab the wrong one. Drat! Read more

organized listening

stack_of_cdsCD BinderLiving in a small home, every shelf counts. As an audio-phile I’ve amassed hundreds of C.D.s. Storing them costs valuable closet space. So I’ve recently tossed all of those jewel cases and have organized all of my C.D.s by genre in one, large, binder. I’ve saved the liner notes with the C.D. and just slid the actual disk, right in front. This is a great solution for your D.V.D.s as well. And it’s portable! These albums can be found at most electronics stores.

Here’s a CD Binder from Stacks and Stacks that holds 128 CDs. They also have this great 100-CD Organizer with a 20-CD Travel Case.