How to remove burn marks from wood

Wooden furniture is one of the most popular types of decoration in homes. Unlike metal or plastic furniture, wooden pieces can be stained and scratched by everyday use.

If you have children, you know that they love to play on the furniture. While fun at first, playing on furniture with a heavy hand can soon leave behind scratches and burn marks on the wood. Here are some tips to remove burn marks from wood:

To successfully remove burns and scratch marks from wood, start by cleaning the area with soap and water. Next, use a cream polish to restore the finish. Be sure to apply pressure when rubbing the polish into the surface to get a deep shine.

remove burn marks from wood

Wood burn marks can range from superficial scorch marks to deep burns that penetrate the surface. The method chosen for removing burn marks depends on the extent of the damage. It is important to approach each method with caution and test it on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire burn mark.

Toothpaste and Baking Soda Method

Materials Needed: Toothpaste, baking soda, small bowl, cloth

This method is effective for light burn marks on wood. To remove burn marks using toothpaste and baking soda, follow these steps:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of toothpaste with 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a small bowl to create a sticky white paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the burn mark, rubbing it gently in the direction of the wood grain.
  3. Continue rubbing for a few minutes, and then wipe off the paste with a clean cloth.
  4. Repeat the process if necessary until the burn mark fades or disappears.

Steel Wool and Mineral Oil Method

Materials Needed: Steel wool, mineral oil, cloth

For slightly deeper burn marks, the steel wool and mineral oil method can yield excellent results. Here’s how to use this method:

  1. Dampen the wood surface with mineral oil.
  2. Take a piece of steel wool and gently scrub the burn mark back and forth across the wood grain.
  3. Apply even pressure while rubbing the burn mark until it gradually fades away.
  4. Wipe off any residue with a clean cloth.

Sanding Method

Materials Needed: Abrasive paste, cloth, sandpaper, furniture oil

For more stubborn burn marks, the sanding method is a viable option. Follow these steps to remove deep burn marks from wood:

  1. Apply an abrasive paste to the burn mark using a cloth, spreading it evenly in a circular motion.
  2. Once the paste is applied, sand the area thoroughly, keeping the motion in line with the wood grain.
  3. Continue sanding until the burn mark becomes less visible.
  4. After sanding, wipe off any debris, and polish the wood surface with furniture oil to restore its shine.

Ash and Lemon Juice Method

Materials Needed: Fresh lemon juice, wood ash, bowl, cloth

If you prefer a natural and eco-friendly approach, the ash and lemon juice method can be an effective solution. Here’s how to use this method:

  1. Mix fresh lemon juice and wood ash in a bowl to create a paste.
  2. Apply the paste over the burn mark, rubbing it gently in the direction of the wood grain.
  3. Continue rubbing for a minute or two, or until the burn mark gradually disappears.
  4. Once the burn mark is removed, wipe off any residue with a clean cloth.

Turpentine and Cork Method

Materials Needed: Turpentine, cork, cloth, wax

For more serious burn marks, the turpentine and cork method can help restore the wood’s appearance. Follow these steps:

  1. Soak a piece of cork in turpentine.
  2. Rub the burn mark with the turpentine-soaked cork, applying gentle pressure.
  3. Continue rubbing until the burn mark fades away.
  4. Once the burn mark is gone, apply a coat of wax to protect and polish the wood.

Salt and Olive Oil Method

Materials Needed: Salt, olive oil, cloth

For old water spots and minor burn marks, a thick paste made from salt and olive oil can be effective. Follow these steps:

  1. Mix salt and olive oil to create a thick paste.
  2. Apply the paste over the burn mark, ensuring it covers the entire affected area.
  3. Let the paste sit on the burn mark for a few minutes.
  4. Gently rub the area with a cloth, using circular motions.
  5. Wipe off the paste and assess the result. Repeat the process if necessary.


Removing burn marks from wood requires patience, the right tools, and the appropriate method for the severity of the burn. It is essential to test any method on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire burn mark. Always handle deeper burn marks with care and consider seeking professional assistance if necessary. With the methods mentioned in this article, you can restore the beauty of your wooden surfaces and enjoy their timeless appeal once again.


1. Can these methods be used on all types of wood? Yes, these methods are generally safe for most types of wood. However, it is advisable to test them on a small, hidden area first to ensure compatibility.

2. Are there any safety precautions to keep in mind? When using abrasive materials or chemicals, it is essential to wear protective gloves and work in a well-ventilated area. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any products used.

3. What if the burn mark is too deep to remove? If the burn mark is too deep or extensive, it may be best to consult a professional wood restorer who can assess the damage and provide appropriate solutions.

4. How often should I apply wax or furniture oil after removing burn marks? Applying wax or furniture oil regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, helps maintain the wood’s luster and protects it from future damage. However, frequency may vary depending on usage and exposure to environmental factors.

5. Can these methods remove burn marks from wooden furniture as well? Yes, the methods described in this article can be applied to both wooden surfaces and furniture, provided they are suitable for the specific type of wood. Always test on a small, inconspicuous area first.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.