How to Hide or Remove Cigarette Burns from Wood Furniture

If you’re a smoker, it’s likely that at one time or another, you have damaged a nice coffee table, wood flooring, or other wood furnishings around your home with a cigarette burn. There are ways to hide those nasty cigarette burns, or even fix the damage in certain situations.

Sometimes a cigarette burn will only be superficial, only marring the surface of the finish, but not quite reaching the surface of the wood. In this case, you are lucky, because it can be fixed with a minimum of effort. Your first course of action would be to try simply using a commercial cleaner or polish on the burn. If that fails, rub the burn with a light oil using a pumice stone. This should take care of the problem.

Sometimes the cigarette burn has gone through the finish, but the wood is only slightly burned. In this case, use a piece of steel wool, gently rubbing on the part of the wood that is charred. You can also try dabbing on a few drops of undiluted bleach if the spot is really shallow. Wear a pair of rubber gloves, and use a q-tip to apply the bleach.

To hide the burned area, you will need to match the color of the wood carefully to disguise the mark. There are several coloring methods to try. Wood stain, paint, a felt tip pen, colored furniture polishes and waxes, even shoe polish or crayons could work. You might want to test different methods in an inconspicuous area first. Try your best to blend the color in with the rest of the wood. Start light and work your way to darker colors for the best results.

For deeper cigarette burns on your wood furniture, you will have to use more forceful methods. You can sand away deeper burns if possible. If sanding alone isn’t completely effective, you will need to scrape away the charred wood. You can use a razor blade or a utility knife for scraping. Once the burned wood is completely scraped away, you will need to fill the hole.

The hole can be filled with shellac or wax. Drip the melted wax or shellac into the hole , filling it slightly higher than the hole. When the wax is cooled, you can scrape it level with a razor blade. You will need to scrape and level the shellac if that’s what you are using, before it fully hardens. Shellac will also need to be sanded. Matching the color is the same process as explained with the shallower burns, except that you may need to draw in any grain lines to match the wood as well. If you used wax as a filler, you will need to seal it with an acrylic varnish spray, or you could use a clear polyurethane sealer.

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