Removing Ink Stain from Wood?

My son loves to draw, and his latest canvas was our very nice dining room table. He wrote about 5 words on it with a pen. Is there any way to get this out without ruining the wood?


It depends on the finish. If it’s varnished or polyurethaned, you can probably use very fine sandpaper or steel wool to gently get down to un-inked finish. If it’s naked wood or waxed, the ink may have gotten into the wood itself. Then you need to talk to somebody other than me.

What type of finish ?
What type of pen ?
Many inks are soluble in alcohol. So are some finishes.

As Squink said - alcohol. Acetone can work too.

It’s a pine table. The pen is a regular black bic pen. Alcohol? I all ready tried hairspray and it only took a small amount of the ink off.

Dining room tables have a pretty durable finish, did you try scrubbing with a Scotch-brite pad? If indeed the stain is in the wood you will need to know what solvent to use and mix some up with fullers earth, let is set till it drys and do it again and again and again…

Why hairspray ? Get out the vodka. If that fails, try rubbing alcohol (isopropyl).

Hairspray normally is great for getting ink out of things. My wife used it when I left a pen in jacket and washed it. Hairspray normally does a great job. I think my son pushed hard and it’s in the wood. Thanks for the ideas.

One way or another, you’re looking at a shallow depression where the ink damage is. You must slowly, gently remove the wood with the ink in it. Then you have to to restore the original finish. You can pick your removal method.