How to Repair Table Top Varnish With Heat Damage

Tables take more wear and tear than almost any other surface in our homes. Used for work, play and meals, they hold up our most important objects and participate in some of the most important moments in our lives. Because of this wear and tear, however, they can become damaged and stained easily. Some of the most dangerous stains are those caused by hot objects. This damage appears as milky white swirls on the surface of the table which you cannot remove with simple cleaning techniques.

  1. Dampen a washrag or cloth in warm water, and wipe away any surface dirt.

  2. Massage butter or margarine into the heat mark. Leave the butter or margarine on the stain overnight, and wipe clean in the morning. The stain should disappear with the butter.

  3. Mix olive oil with cigarette ashes to form a paste. Spread the paste over the stain and leave overnight. Wipe away the paste and the stain in the morning.

  4. Lay a clean towel on the area. Set your clothing iron on low heat and iron in a circular motion. Continue to iron until the heat mark is gone.

  5. Rub wood polish into the cleaned area with a soft cloth. All of these cleaning methods will dull the polish on the wooden furniture. Buff clean for a new shine.


  • These methods are designed to work only on tables finished with varnish. If your tabletop has a different type of finish on it, these will not necessarily work and may make the stain worse. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer or an expert at a hardware store.

About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.