How To Fix Discolored Wood Table? [Here’s How]




Wood furniture with colour looks very beautiful. But a discoloured wooden piece of furniture is obviously ugly. Discoloration on wood table makes the table look horrible and ruins the whole environment. Do you have discoloured wood pieces or a dining table? Annoyed because of the discoloured look of your wood table?

How To Fix Discolored Wood Table

Looking for the solution to, ‘How to fix discolored wood table’? No worries. I have the easiest solution for you with detailed guidelines. Read ahead and help yourself to complete the process.

Fix Discolored Wood Table

In short, you can definitely fix your discoloured wood table. You need to sand down the wooden surface to remove wood stains, apply a new wood stain, or wood colour and wood finish, or else you can try the wood bleaching process to fix the discoloured wood table.

Don’t rush to start fixing the discoloured wood table, because this is a side of the coin, you have another side of the coin left. Read ahead and explore the entire method in detail. What are you waiting for? Let’s dive into it!

Key Takeaways:

  • The discoloration of the wood table may be caused by sunlight exposure, water damage, chemical reaction, mould or mildew etc.
  • Different methods are available to fix the discoloured wood table such as sanding and refinishing, wood bleaching, using stain pens or markers etc.
  • The step-by-step guidelines that should be followed such as preparing the work area, cleaning the table, sanding or applying bleach etc.

Identifying The Causes Of Discoloration Wood Table

Can you fix discolored wood? The answer is obviously you can. But for that, you have to understand and identify the cause of discoloration of the wood surface and choose the appropriate method for that.

Identifying The Causes Of Discoloration Wood Table

But before that, you need to know the causes of discoloration of the raw wood to choose the right solution and prevent the discoloration from the wood furniture. Want to know about the reasons behind the discoloured table? Here you go:

Sunlight Exposure

Direct sunlight can cause the wood surface to fade. It can bring a light colour and make the table look ugly.

Water Damage

The frequent water spills and cleaning them lately can cause the table to lose its original colour and warp. It can leave dark stains on the surface as well.

Chemical Reaction

Using harsh chemical cleaners to clean the table can make the table discolour. The table loses its natural colour.

Mould Or Mildew

If you leave the table wet after using a damp cloth for cleaning it can grow mould or mildew and can result in dark stains or patches.

Age Or Wear

As time passes, the wood table gets old and because of daily use or daily wear and tear it gets scratches, stains, spills, and dents, and the natural color of the table starts fading away.

Identifying the reasons behind the discoloured table can help you to fix the raw wood table in the right way and get the original color of the table back.

Methods To Fix The Discolored Wood Table

Well, before you rush to start the fixing process, let me tell you one thing, there are a few methods to fix the discoloured wood table. You heard it right, you might be thinking what are these methods so that you can learn about them and start fixing the table accordingly? Let me help you with this. Some methods to fix the discoloured wood tables are:

Sanding And Refinishing

If the wooden table has scratches, gaps, dents, or water stains or stains, sanding the surface to remove these and applying a finish is the best solution for this kind of damage. Sanding and refinishing is an effective method to refinish a cherry wood table.

Wood Bleach

If the table has water damage, mould, or mildew applying bleach is the best solution for this. Because bleach can remove the stains or lighten them up. But be careful when using bleach and use the bleach in a well-ventilated area as it can be toxic.

Stain Pens Or Markers, Petroleum Jelly

How to fix discolored wood table white stain color? Well, stain pens or markers are the solution for you. If the damages are minor you can use stain pens or markers to cover the damages and restore that colour. 

But do not forget to choose the matched colour with the wood table. You can use petroleum jelly to protect the wood from water damage, fill the cracks or scratches, and get a smooth surface for the next steps.

Natural Remedies

How do you fix a heat spot on a wood table? For white heat stains or mild stains, you can use home remedies like lemon juice, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), white vinegar, or toothpaste. These available items can remove the mild wood stains from wood furniture and brighten up the wood color. You can use this method to remove any light spots from the surface when refinishing the burl wood table.

How do you restore the color of a wood table? Well, choose the appropriate method for your wood table. Fix the table accordingly and get the natural color of the wood table back.

How To Fix A Discolored Wood Table? Step-By-Step Guidelines

How to fix discolored wood furniture? I know, this question is poking your mind when you already know about the fixing methods and all. Let’s not waste any more time and let me help you with the step-by-step guidelines of the process. Such as:

How To Fix A Discolored Wood Table

Prepare The Work Area

Start the process of preparing the work area. Try to choose a well-ventilated area to perform the process. Use some paper towel, or newspaper on the floor before starting the process to protect the floor and avoid mess.

Clean The Table

Now clean the table with mild soapy water. Try to take warm water. Now take a soft cloth and wipe the wood surface to remove dirt or debris from the table. Now, let the surface dry properly before you move forward.


If surface damage is the reason behind discoloration, sanding is the best solution for your wood table. With fine-grit sandpaper, sand the table surface lightly. Sand the table in the same way as wood grain. It will remove the damaged layer of the table and make the surface smooth. Now, remove the dust and debris from the surface using a dry cloth. Sanding is necessary to fix water bubbles on wood tables.

Apply Wood Bleach If Needed

If mould or mildew, or water damage is the reason behind the discoloration, it is wise to use wood bleach to restore the colour. Apply wood bleach properly on the damaged areas, let the bleach sit, wipe it off using a clean cloth, and then rinse the area evenly. Let it dry properly to bleach the wood properly. 

Staining Or Refinishing

If you want you can use stain or finish as well. You can change the colour of the table as well. Apply a coat of stain or finish with the help of a paintbrush or roller. Let it dry completely before you apply another coat if needed.

Final Touch

After applying a coat of stain or finish, inspect the table attentively. Try to find out if there are any rough areas available. Sand the rough area lightly and level the surface. Now apply another coat of the stain or finish.

Protective Sealer

To protect the table from any kind of future damage apply a sealer like wax or polyurethane. These can protect the table from the harmful effects of UV rays as well. You can use a sealer after applying a finish for the teak dining table.

This is how you can perfectly fix your discoloured wood table and give it a brand-new look. But let me advise you something, stay patient and attentive throughout the entire process as it can be time-consuming. Remember a silly mistake can ruin all your efforts and hard work.

Choosing The Right Method To Fix The Discolored Wood Table

How do you remove discoloration from a wood table? Well for this, you need to choose the right method to fix the discoloration of the wooden furniture. I know, one question is poking your mind and that is, ‘How to choose the right method for fixing the discoloured wood table?’ Right? 

The first thing that you need to do to choose the right method is identify the reasons behind the discoloration. There are different methods for different damage and you have already read about them. Pick the right method according to this. You can also consider your budget if you have one before picking any method. Choose the one that is appropriate but cheap as well.

Common Mistakes That Should Be Avoided During The Process

The wood discoloration repair process needs to be completed smoothly without any mistakes. But people often make some common mistakes that can ruin it. These are:

Common Mistakes That Should Be Avoided During The Process
  • Not cleaning the surface properly before staining or refinishing can bring you a poor finish and look.
  • Not identifying the reason behind the discoloration and not applying the right method will bring you a bad result.
  • Over-sanding the wood surface to remove stains from the wood furniture can bring you an uneven surface with scratches, dents, and gaps. Do not over-sand even when refinishing a faux wood table.
  • After applying the stain or finish, not letting them dry properly will bring a sticky base.
  • Not preparing the work area before starting the process can ruin your floor or workspace with messes and spills.

Try to avoid these mistakes during the entire process. Be careful when performing the process. Don’t get impatient or inattentive while fixing the wood table because a small mistake can make you pay a good amount.

How To Prevent The Table From Future Discoloration?

It is a wise decision if you think about maintaining the table to prevent it from future discoloration, rather than carelessly using the table and facing the faded wood surface and fixing it frequently. Some tips to help you with that:

How To Prevent The Table From Future Discoloration
  • Clean the wood table surface regularly with a soft cloth and remove the dust, dirt, or debris.
  • Always use a dry cloth to clean the table. If you use a damp cloth make sure the table is drying properly after that.
  • Clean the table with a clean cloth immediately if any liquids fall on it to avoid getting water stains.
  • Do not place the table in direct sunlight as it can cause fading and the UV rays can damage the table.
  • Maintain a consistent humidity level at the place you are placing your table. Follow this tip after fixing a warped wood table from water.
  • Always use coasters and placemats on the table before placing something directly.
  • Do not place any hot objects directly on the table surface.
  • Do not use any harsh chemical cleaners to clean the table.
  • Inspect the table regularly if you notice anything unusual you can reapply the finish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Type Of Paint Is Best For Wood?

Latex or acrylic-based paints are the best for wood though there are more paints available.

Can I Paint Directly On Wood?

Yes, you can but it is better to sand the table and get a smooth surface before applying the paint.

Can I Restore The Colour Of A Wood Table?

Yes, you can definitely restore the colour of a wood table following the proper guidelines.

Can I Repaint Wood Without A Primer?

Though you can repaint wood without using a primer, it is better to use one.


Hope, you’ve got the solution to your problem, ‘How to fix discolored wood table?’. Choose the right or appropriate method to fix the wood table. Follow the guidelines step-by-step properly during the entire process. Get the original color of your wood table back. But if you are somehow unable to fix the wooden table, you can hire professionals and get it done by them.

Interested in learning about restoring tables? Stay with- Restore Journey.

Richard Journey

Written by

Richard Journey

Meet Richard Journey, the Antique Furniture Maestro. With a Fine Arts degree in Furniture Restoration and Conservation, he’s a guardian of historical craftsmanship. His accolades include the Golden Chisel Award, and he’s your guide to discovering and restoring antique treasures.

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