Some white-whicker deck furniture came into contact with some finished dark wood and left white streaks. They're resistant to simple abrasion. Is there any way to remove the paint without wrecking the finish? To be clear, the paint was dry when it rubbed off.

  • It is not clear what you are trying to clean. I think you have dried white paint on some dark wood (of unknown type, finish and function) but I am not sure. Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 16:56
  • Hi Eamonn, Welcome to Lifehacks. See if the white is on raised portions of the darker wood. If so, can you carefully scrape those raised portions to remove the white marks with a sharp blade or scraper? Re-finish unsightly marks if they're visibly affected by your repair.
    – Stan
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 18:08
  • Finish is probably varnish or shellac of some description. It is a totally flat surface (the front of a dresser) Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 22:10
  • No matter what it was, my mother would first use some spit on her handkerchief to remove it. It didn't matter if it was paint on the car or food on my face. Nine times out of ten, it worked.
    – Stan
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 1:27
  • 3
    Please post a picture of the affected area, so we can see and understand better the problem.
    – virolino
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 5:31

2 Answers 2


You have a couple of different techniques to use. If the white marks from the wicker chair/table appear on a smooth finish darker surfaced hardwood, the white marks can be gently removed…

chemically with a mild solvent such as ethyl alcohol (Vodka, Gin, etc.) used on a rag or…

mechanically with light scraping using a sharp single-edge razor blade. Pull the blade over the marks while it's at a nearly vertical angle. A couple of "pulls" should be enough.

There's a better than average chance that your removal will slightly change the appearance of the dresser. Use a compatible colour furniture scratch remover to recover the original appearance of the dresser drawer.

Good Luck.


If it's paint (or a paint like substance) then perhaps "cut and polish" (like for cleaning up car paint) might work?

I'd recommend that you try it somewhere not visible first though. Just in case it damages the finish.

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