Accidents happen, whether a candle was knocked over or a cigarette fell out of an ashtray onto your wood table, it will most likely leave a burn mark. A burn mark on the surface of the wood table takes away from the visual appeal of not just the table, but also the whole room. maybe you even found a great bargain on a table with beautiful lines and detailing, but it has a burn mark. Don't pass up the table because of some charring. Sure, a well placed vase, coaster or placemat may hide the burn mark, but you know it's still there. Removing a burn mark and saving the table is possible with the right tools and techniques.
Removing the Burn Mark
Clean the burn mark and the area around it with an all-purpose cleaner or mix a squirt of liquid dish washing soap into a cup of water and wipe the surface clean. Dry the surface with a soft rag.
Wrap #0000 steel wool around a pencil, wood dowel or any other stiff item. #0000 steel wool is found at hardware stores, do not use pre-soaped steel wool pads as found in a grocery store.
Gently sand the burn mark until the raw wood under the black or brown burn is revealed. Follow the grain of the wood while sanding the blackened surface. Avoid sanding across the grain because you will leave the wood fuzzy and you make cause some splinters of wood to chip out of the surface.
Wipe away the burnt debris with a damp sponge. Dry the area with a rag. You can also use a tack cloth to pick up the debris.
Filling In the Burn Mark
Dip a small paintbrush such as an artist' paintbrush into non-yellowing shellac. Paint a very thin layer of shellac over the raw wood and let it dry. If the depression is deep add a layers of shellac to the gouge and let them dry until you almost fill the depression and it is slightly below the surface height of the table.
Match a wood stain to the color of your table. Dip a small paintbrush into the wood stain and add a very thin layer of stain over the shellac. Let the wood stain dry. If the wood stain is still lighter than the color of the table, paint on anther very thin layer and let it dry. Continue to add very thin layers of wood stain and let it dry until the color matches the table. Always slowly build wood stain color because it is easier to darken wood stain than it is to lighten it.
Brush on several thin layers of shellac, letting each one dry in between coats until the shellac sits at the same height as the surface of the table. Allow the shellac to dry for 24 hours.
Dip #0000 steel wool into a color paste furniture wax that has a wood tone that matches your table. Rub the wax over the shellac repair in small circular motions first and then in the exact direction of the wood grain. Let the wax dry until it turns white and looks hazy.
Buff the surface of the table with a well-worn, soft flannel rag to remove the excess waxy residue.
Paste furniture wax comes in many colors; choose the color closest to the existing color on the wood table to create a good match.if you can't find an exact match, chose a shade than matches the lightest color on the table.