We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How to Hide Scratches and Stains on Wooden Furniture

Three images of products recommended in the article below including Feed-N-Wax by Howard Products, Furniture scratch repair crayons by Rejuvenate and Old English Scratch repair.
Howard/Rejuvenate/Old English

It’s frustrating to see a ding or nick on your pretty wooden furniture. Unfortunately, a busy home means those tables and bureaus will take numerous hits over time. However, there are several ways you can fix or hide minor scratches and stains on your wooden pieces.

It’s easy to forget and set a glass on a table without a coaster or hit the corner of a desk when you’re moving something else in a room. Luckily, we have some tips and tricks for making those unattractive water rings and superficial scratches disappear.

Three Simple Ways to Prevent Scratches and Stains

Two images of products recommended in the article below including a Oubonun tablecloth and a LIFVER coasters.

Scratches and stains on wooden furniture are pretty much inevitable, especially if you have little ones in your home, who don’t understand how fragile furniture can be. Adults also forget and set their drinking glasses on wooden tabletops, which leave pesky water rings behind

Fortunately, there are plenty of tried-and-true ways to keep your furniture looking nice.

Keep Coasters in Every Room

When cold drinks sit for a bit, they become “sweaty,” meaning condensation forms around the outside of the glass, and then drips down onto the table in a ring-shaped puddle. This moisture then becomes trapped in the wood finish and causes a white stain, known as a “water ring.”

Coasters have been around for ages, but do you have them throughout your home? If your family or guests tend to eat or drink anywhere else but in the kitchen, be sure to keep a stack of coasters handy in every room. Also, let everyone know a glass requires a coaster—no exceptions!

LIFVER Drink Coasters & Holder

Water-absorbant and scratch-resistent.

Use Tablecloths

If your number one scratch zone tends to be your dining room table, consider using a tablecloth. Like coasters, these handy table protectors have been around for ages, and they do a great job of protecting your table from scratches and spills.

Tablecloths also add a pop of color to your room, and you can change them for each season or holiday. It’s a fun (and protective) way to decorate your home.

Miffrank Spring Summer Floral Tablecloth

This pretty wildflower pattern is perfect for spring.

LUSHVIDA St. Patrick's Day Rectangle Tablecloth

Bring some luck to the table with this shamrock print.

There are also some adorable (and affordable) options out there—this option from Oubonun comes in 13 patterns and five sizes.

Oubonun Rustic Lattice Tablecloth

Add some rustic charm to any table.

Dust Correctly

Believe it or not, there is a correct way to dust your wooden furniture, and a dry rag isn’t it—that can scratch the surface. Too much water and all-purpose sprays are no-no’s, as well.

Instead, use a barely damp microfiber towel to wipe away any layers of dust. Then, you can use some polish for a more thorough job.

The Rag Company Microfiber Towels

Highly absorbent and streak-free.

Covering Scratches and Scuffs

Two images of products recommended in the article including Coconix fillers and Rejunvenate wax.

While natural wood looks pretty in your home, it can be a bit annoying to dust and protect. Scuffs and dings are also common, but repairing this type of minor damage is easier than you might think.

Scratches are hard to miss, and even more difficult to ignore, but that’s where the Coconix Repair Kit comes in. It features signature base compounds to fill and repair minor scratches or deep gouges.

The kit includes 10 base colors you can mix to find the right hue to match your wood finish. You’ll also get detailed instructions and a step-by-step guide for achieving the proper tone.

Coconix Wood Repair Kit

Match your wood's color perfectly.

Sometimes, you might only need a furniture marker or crayon to fill in any unsightly scuffs, and Rejuvenate products are for just that. You just apply a bit of marker or crayon to the damaged area to fill in the empty space with color. You can wipe away any excess pigment before it dries.

Rejuvenate Wood Furniture Markers and Crayons

Color in scratches for a quick fix.

Old English Scratch Cover is a trusted brand that’s stood the test of time. It’s been helping people restore damaged wood for over 100 years. It will hide unsightly scratches, but it also doubles as a protective shield to help preserve your wood’s natural beauty.

Old English Scratch Cover For Light Woods

Hides scratches and preserves the beauty of your wood.

Removing Those Pesky Water Rings

Two images of Howard Products Feed-N-Wax.
Howard Products

Those foggy-looking white stains on your wooden furniture mean moisture has gotten trapped in the finish layer of your wood. Luckily, these are easy to remove with a few home remedies.

Before buying any products, try these home treatments first:

The hair dryer method: Dry heat can evaporate any trapped moisture in a wood finish. Set your dryer on low and slowly wave it back and forth over the stain for at least 10 minutes.


Comes in handy for more than hair.

Baking soda paste: This method is excellent for removing older water rings. Follow these steps:

  1. Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 3 tablespoons of water to form a paste.
  2. Gently rub a small amount of paste along the wood grain with a cloth until the stain disappears.
  3. Remove the paste using a damp microfiber towel.
  4. Use a bit of furniture polish to restore its shine.

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Make a paste to remove older stains.

If your water stains still won’t budge, or you’d rather lather them up with a shiny finish, we recommend you give Howard Products Feed-N-Wax a try. It can work wonders by feeding your wood with conditional oils, which will keep it from drying or fading.

Reviewers also claim it’s fantastic for removing old water rings. Use it on your antiques, cabinets, trim, and doors. It also has a crisp, citrus scent and leaves a gorgeous sparkle when it’s finished.

Howard Products Wood Polish & Conditioner

Will make those ugly water rings vanish for good.

Taking care of wooden furniture isn’t so difficult when you’re equipped with the right protective accessories and know the tips and tricks. These suggestions will help you remove any unsightly blemishes, and keep your wood finishes looking shiny and gorgeous for years to come.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on a single goal: helping you make the most informed purchases possible. Want to know more?