How to Remove Burn Stains From a Wood Floor

Candle wax, cigarette ashes or sparks from a fire can leave a nasty brown or black mark on your lovely wood floors. The damage may range from superficial burns that leave a mark on the surface, to more serious burns that sear through several layers of wood. If the burned area is larger than 1 inch, consult a professional before attempting to fix it. Otherwise, you might do more harm than good.

Fix and hide burn marks to preserve the beauty of your wood floor.
  1. Apply a few drops of ammonia to a damp cloth. Rub the cloth across the burn and wipe dry to remove minor surface burns. The ammonia removes burns because it has a slight abrasive action.

  2. Scrape deeper burns carefully with a razor blade. Scrape the wood at a slight angle, taking a small sliver of wood off at a time. Remove thin slivers until you see undamaged wood.

  3. Dip a cotton swab in turpentine or denatured alcohol to bleach the wood slightly and remove any charred wood dust or debris. Sand the area lightly with a piece of fine sandpaper and allow it to dry.

  4. Heat a metal paint scraper over an electric range until the tip is hot to the touch. Dab a dime-size amount of stick shellac onto the scraper and allow it to soften. Hold it over the heat if necessary until it begins to melt.

  5. Fill the hole with the shellac stick. Clean the edge of the paint scraper and use it to scrape any excess shellac off the edges of the hole. Allow the shellac to harden slightly and sand the surface until it is smooth. Wipe lemon oil over it to blend it in with the surrounding wood floor.

About the Author

Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."