How to Remove Carvings in a Wood Table

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Things You'll Need

  • Chemical stain solvent

  • Paint brush

  • Rubber gloves

  • Clean rags

  • Putty knife

  • Wood filler

  • Sandpaper (medium grit and fine grit)

You may wish to remove carvings from a wood tabletop for any of a number of reasons. Graffiti defacing the table is unsightly. Intricate artwork carvings can become chipped, worn and distorted over time and may not be repairable. If the carvings are too deep, sanding may be too much work and could compromise the integrity of the table, thinning it out and making it weak. Filling the carvings with wood putty maintains the thickness of the wood and reduces the overall amount of sanding required to refinish the table.


Step 1

Paint the chemical solvent along the top of the table to remove old paint and stains on the wood table. Generously apply solvent into the carvings and give the solvent ten minutes to work.

Step 2

Wipe the solvent away with a clean rag, removing the old stain. Use the putty knife to scrape stubborn paint or stain sections away.

Step 3

Fill the carvings with the wood putty, smoothing it over the crevices with the putty knife. Give the putty three to four hours to dry, unless otherwise instructed by the manufacturer's label.


Step 4

Sand the tabletop with the medium-grit sandpaper to even out the top. Follow the medium-grit paper with the fine-grit paper to create a smooth finish that can be stained or painted.



Kimberlee Leonard

Kimberlee Leonard

With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, Kimberlee finds it fun to take technical mumbo-jumbo and make it fun! Her first career was in financial services and insurance.