Naturally Repair Wood With Vinegar and Canola Oil

60 Minutes

Use 3/4 cup of oil, add 1/4 cup vinegar. white or apple cider vinegar, mix it in a jar, then rub it into the wood. You don't need to wipe it off; the wood just soaks it in Credit goes to .Heili's Healthy Haven
This is what I am going to attempt this idea on, hope it works!
Hot Mess!
Front before I began.
Ewww! Ouch!
Side, untouched, but ol running from the top...I am kinda messy :)
Front after.
TV table half done....
Half done....
All done!
Finished, and in it's new home!

Top Hometalk Projects

31 Coastal Decor Ideas Perfect For Your Home
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
The 15 Coolest Ways to Reuse Pipes in Your Home Decor
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
18 Easy DIY Projects That You Can Do This Weekend!
15 Affordable DIY Projects You Can Do Right Now!
15 Things To Do With Scrap Material
17 Faux Brick Ideas For Your Home
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
18 Adorable Bird Feeders You'll Want To Make Right Now
Turn Your Old Junk Into The Perfect Home For Your Plants
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
16 Brilliant Wire Basket Hacks Everyone's Doing Right Now

Have a question about this project?

30 questions
  • Andrea Peer
    on Nov 11, 2015

    Does it HAVE to be canola oil??

    • Kris Cole
      on Nov 14, 2015

      @Andrea Peer I would stick to what it states. I received alot of feedback about Canola oil going rancid. It hasn't. I am not sure about other oils.

    • Lavell
      on Jul 6, 2018

      Canola oil is made from Rapeseed which is GMO. I would use it on my floor, but I'd never eat it. Sounds like a good way to use it up if you have some in the house.

  • Barbara
    on Dec 8, 2015

    Your pieces look lovely! THANK YOU for preserving the natural beauty of the wood! My daughter has really damaged a lovely drop leaf maple desk/dresser. Water stains from night time sips and dings here and there. I was certain that I'd have to sand it all down and start over but if this could help bring her back (she won't be in the same room when I'm done) do you think I'd be able to get it at least partially back with this method? I love the slant drop leaf and the storage dresser drawers are so handy for table linens etc. but I don't want to ruin her with lots of sanding and re-staining that might not match my night table and dresser. I'd like her back to as close to the original finish as possible and I don't want to paint her, I love the wood tones.

  • Pattecamp
    on Jul 23, 2016

    Do you paint all the piece or just the scratches?

  • Beth Gantt
    on Aug 20, 2016

    Would this work on a wooden front door that has completely faded from being in the sun?

  • Jacquie Baldwin
    on Aug 24, 2016

    Do you wipe the mixture over all of the piece of furniture? ?? Does it work right away or over night?

  • A-m17245045
    on Feb 19, 2017

    Does it work on hard wood floors?

  • Barbara J Miner
    on Apr 30, 2017

    Will only canola oil work? Thanks!
  • Annette Bovee
    on Jun 2, 2017

    Does this work for the dull spots left by people's heel on a coffee tabl?
  • Pam Bennett Fisher
    on Jun 4, 2017

    What type of oil?
  • Lco9587491
    on Jun 7, 2017

    Does it leave your home smelling like vinegar?! 😖
    • Lynne Webb
      on Jun 10, 2017

      I'd say the vinegar smell would dissipate rather quickly as it is absorbed. I could live with that for several days if it would fix my dilemma. Late hubby insisted on putting his keys on his nightstand for years. It managed to leave scratches in the finish. On my way to buy Canola oil .
    • Lco9587491
      on Jun 10, 2017

      I might try it! I'd like to fix a small circle on my table next to the sofa. Seriously, two coasters on that table, how does that happen 😕😖
    • Ellie Dansereau
      on Jun 13, 2017

      this works. no smell of vinegar after 10 minutes.......restored a lovely old desk
  • Barbara Stadie
    on Jun 11, 2017

    Could this work on a wood floor?
    • Donna Murdock
      on Jun 15, 2017

      Yes. I do take an old towel and buffit so it won't be slippery

    • Linda Rue Anthony
      on Jun 17, 2017

      What's the ratio of each product? How much do you use?
    • Lindy
      on Jul 29, 2017

      3/4 c oil 1/3 c vinegar--missed it myself but right in the beginning of the post LOL
  • Marian Day
    on Jul 3, 2017

    will this work on a table top. it has white stains on it from hot dishes.
  • Bjhorner
    on Jul 22, 2017

    Dining room table has faded areas from hot plates. Will vinegar and oil work

    • Adr12003830
      on Jul 29, 2017

      Try mayonnaise. It works with water stains.
    • Ela26544792
      on Jul 30, 2017

      Are they white stains, water stains? If they are white you can rub toothpaste in gently to clean white stains off wood.. Mayo is a great idea as the oil in it will moisturiz the wood.
  • Lindy
    on Jul 29, 2017

    For some reason the varnish type top coat of my TV console is checking and peeling/flaking off. Will this work to smooth it all out? The area seems to be growing and not sure why!
    • Ela26544792
      on Jul 30, 2017

      No, unfortunately it seems to be in need of a refinish. The oil is just to soak in and clean and brighten the wood.
    • Jeanne Johnson Ortego
      on Nov 21, 2017

      It might help as a temporary measure. Do you think heat could be a factor in the flaking?
  • How to remove backing (from plastic tableclother on dining room table?????
  • Laura M Guzan
    on Sep 15, 2017

    will this work on a dresser that was painted with a stain/poly finish? also have a wooden desk that has a few cigarette burns on it. will this cover the burns or do I need to sand and paint?
    • Jeanne Johnson Ortego
      on Nov 21, 2017

      It worked on my rocker that was stained and varnished. I thought I'd have to sand and refinish, because the scratches/wear had bare wood showing through. The color matches, but there's a difference in texture that'll take sanding to correct.
      I doubt it'll cover the burns, but you could try it.
  • Ivonne Shoucair
    on Jun 9, 2018

    Can you apply this mixture to wooden floors too?

    • SusanB
      on Jul 9, 2018

      You must be very careful on wooden floors because the smallest amount of oil left on the surface will make them very slippery and dangerous. Plus, oily residue would attract and hold onto dust and dirt. This looks like a great solution for 'aging' furniture but I'd stay clear of floors.

    • JudyH
      on Jul 15, 2018

      Way, way too slippery for floors!

  • JoAnn
    on Jul 1, 2018

    I'm using pallets to build bookshelves and I want to paint some of them. Should I paint first or after

    • Lavell
      on Jul 5, 2018

      It depends on whether the pallets are made of "treated" or untreated wood. Hopefully it's the latter. If they are fee of harmful chemicals, I would just paint a top quality primer base on them and follow up with color. Make sure to buy paint that is indoor or outdoor depending on the project. I would not use chemically treated wood pallets to make furniture as it could be unsafe for humans and the environment.

    • JoAnn
      on Jul 6, 2018

      Thanks lavell. The pallets that I'm using are not treated and the paint I have has primer in it and is indoor/outdoor. Again thank you.

    • JudyH
      on Jul 15, 2018

      Paint each piece separately before assembly then caulk and touch up paint after your project is completed. It's not fun, is more labor intensive, and boring to do, but the end results are worth the effort.

  • B_m5568759
    on Jul 9, 2018

    How to repair water rings

    • Coffee grinds

    • Elisabeth Robinson
      on Aug 13, 2018

      How does coffee grounds work? Do you just rub it in wet?

    • Rustyalso
      on Sep 3, 2018

      Leave a layer of mayonnaise over the water spots for several hours ( can rub in lightly if you wish)

      Remove mayonnaise with a clean soft cloth, and rings should disappear! May need several applications if spots have been there awhile...

  • Mro164
    on Sep 1, 2018

    Did you sand or prep before applying the oil and vinegar mixture?

  • Caryn
    on Sep 4, 2018

    I have deep scratches and water spots on a wood table will it work for those?

  • Melissa C Graham
    on Sep 20, 2018

    Will this work on a front door? Can I seal the door to protect it from the elements after repair?

  • Ann Sharp
    on Nov 17, 2018

    what are the ratios of vinegar to oil?

  • Debbie
    on Dec 18, 2018

    Would this work on Pennsylvania house furniture? Light oak.

  • Njcpers
    on Jan 1, 2019

    Would this help damage from a perfume spill on the top of an antique maple dresser?

  • Donna Pennington
    on Jan 8, 2019

    If I use this and decide later to stain and or varnish it will the oil affect it

    • Tiffany
      on Apr 2, 2019


    • Tish
      on Jan 7, 2020

      That’s a great question! I’d like to know as well if I do this to an antique solid wood vanity I got for *free* that I was planning to sand the higher sides that have drawers and do the staining technique that ones does to get “pictures” with various colors of stain on the tops. However... if this repairs the damage I might leave it as is, or use it on the sides and “picture” the lower middle instead! But... if I change my mind and want to do ALL I don’t want a problem... 😂

    • Ohiorn
      on Jan 7, 2020

      Did you do the process more than once? How much did the color change? Thanks for sharing!

  • Swt8262996
    on Mar 29, 2019

    Hi, I have a problem you might help me with, I set a hot dish on a painted wood table and now the wood is bulging. How to fix?

  • Delores
    on Nov 2, 2019

    My husband put a towel on my table top to iron hemming strips to curtains problem when he took towel my table top had lost its shine and looked like Big water stain help

    • Tina
      on Jan 16, 2020

      Try mayonaise .. It works great on water stains.

  • Pampam
    on Jan 8, 2020

    Must I use canola oil, or can I use olive or coconut oil?

  • Lora Taylor Hyatt
    on Jan 8, 2020

    Why was your cost for this listed at $22 ?

Join the conversation

2 of 175 comments
  • Toni Kilpatrick
    on Jan 7, 2020

    Easy, can’t hurt my beat up wooden doors. I’ll try it. Many thanks!

  • Sally Gillies
    on Jan 7, 2020

    I have my late aunt and uncle's beautiful four-poster solid maple bedroom set. They bought it in 1938 so it needs some loving care. I've wanted to do something but not paint this beautiful wood. Thanks for a solution. I'm going out now to get the canola oil!

Your comment...