How to Get Fingernail Polish Out of Wood Flooring and Furniture Blog

There’s a reason why our “How to Get Fingernail Polish Out of Carpet and Fabric” post is a popular one, and it’s not because it’s the cool thing to do. Accidents happen. Especially when it comes to drippy nail polish and its bright pink hue. So what’s a gal to do when, in preparing to paint the town red, she accidentally paints her hardwood floors (or antique end table or dining room chairs)?

Experts say: Keep calm and grab the alcohol—rubbing or denatured that is. (You can drink wine when you’re done with the stain.)

Here are some things to consider when removing nail polish from wood:

  1. Understand what you are dealing with. Because of its porous qualities, wood may never fully release the color, and some woods are naturally more porous than others. Oak, for example, is more porous than maple, cherry or birch. Wood flooring is its own separate beast too, so take stock with what you have in front of you.
  1. If the nail polish is still wet, apply even pressure to the stain using tissues or a cotton swab to soak up the excess, making small swipes as necessary to bring it up.

While experts can agree that rubbing or denatured alcohol is a good bet for removing nail polish from wood, how gentle you are in the removing process will determine the end result. Use a clean, soft cloth (felt works great) and try to go in the direction of the grain. Aim for light pressure. Rubbing the stain too aggressively may damage the wood.

  1. If you have some 0000-grade steel wool lying around, you may be able to gently buff out the stain without the use of chemicals. Again, gentle pressure is key to work the nail polish away from the wood, and make sure to go with the grain.

If you do happen to be overzealous, spot treat the bare wood with a wood touch-up product; stain markers are available at any hardware or big box store.

  1. Need to know how to get nail polish out of wood floors? If you have some rubbing alcohol somewhere in your house, you already have your solution. Soak a piece of cloth or sponge in rubbing alcohol, set on the stain, and lightly scrub after a few minutes. You should see the nail paint come right off!

And, while we are all for empowering do-it-yourselfers, it’s important to know when to walk away. If the spot is large or on a particularly valuable piece of furniture, you may need to call a professional. Whatever you do, DO NOT use nail polish remover. While it seems counterintuitive, using nail polish remover on wood will likely do more harm than good, making quick work of removing the wood’s finish along with the unwanted color.

Once the polish is removed you may find yourself wanting to do a deep clean around the house. With your nails shining so bright, you don’t have to worry about messing up the paint. Give The Maids a call at 1-800-THE-MAIDS or check our cleaning services! We’re more than happy to make your home sparkle from top-to-bottom.

Do you have any nail polish horror stories?


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