How to Remove Fingernail Polish From Wood

Claudia Henning

Fingernail polish comes in a variety of gorgeous colors. Although it is lovely to see it on nails, it is a virtual nightmare to see it splotched onto wood furniture. Attempting to scrub it off the wood surface with acetone, or nail polish remover, will only spread and drive it deeper into the wood.

There is a method of safely removing it without damaging the furniture. Acetone, hairspray and wood oil soap will get rid of this nail polish accident and leave your wood sparkling.

  1. Soak a cotton swab in acetone. Dab a small amount over the thicker parts of the nail polish. Do not rub the spot, as it will spread the polish over a wider area. Continue this until the nail polish is down to a thin layer. Avoid directly touching the wood with the acetone.

  2. Spray a small amount of hairspray directly over the polish. Dab at the hairspray-coated polish with cotton balls. Push or pull the cotton ball gently over the polish stain in short strokes. Go with the wood grain for easier removal.

  3. Mix ¼ cup of wood oil soap in a bucket of warm water. Use a sponge to scrub the remaining polish. The wood oil soap will pull the polish out of the wood, leaving a clean and sparkling finish.

  4. Tip

    Find out more information about wood furniture maintenance at home-decorating-reviews.com. (See resource) Use an aerosol or pump spray hairspray. Hair gel styler or mousse will not work to remove nail polish.


    Add a few drops of water to the acetone when using it to removing polish on darker woods, such as mahogany, oak or cedar.

    Do not scrub with the acetone or hairspray. Dab the chemical on to avoid driving it deeper into the wood.