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Thread: fingernail polish on hardwood

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    Join Date
    May 2007
    Western KY

    fingernail polish on hardwood

    Has any one ever had to remove fingernail polish from a hardwood floor? It is spread everywhere and pretty thick in some spots. Some tenants of mine have kids who spilled it all over the floor. I know fingernail polish remover will remove it but I am afraid it will remove the finish as well. I will try it on a leftover piece of floor first, but I thought maybe someone has experienced this before.
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    NWMNMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Waaay NW MN
    Yikes. There are a couple of different types of nail polish remover, one with and one without acetane. Maybe the Non version would be easier on the flooring? You could use a low heat on it to soften up a bit and then try to carefully work it off the floor with the edge of something. Thats a toughie. Good luck.
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    KurtV's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    SE Louisiana
    If the floor finish is not lacquer based you can probably use acetone. Test it in an inconspicuous area though.

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    Backglass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Putnam County, NY

    Re: fingernail polish on hardwood

    Quote Originally Posted by cateng
    Some tenants of mine have kids who spilled it all over the floor.
    Ouch! Somebody just lost their deposit. :P

    Do some tests in the back of a closet first to see what strips the finish and what doesn't.

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    I got nail polish of Pergo flooring with nail polish remover, but be careful, it will remove the finish.
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    Acetone is about the only thing that will remove nail polish - that said, acetone will also remove just about every floor finish you can imagine - it will attack a poly finish, a resin finish, a lacquer finish and anything else you can think of.

    One trick you can try - if your finish where the nail polish is was very new - IE shiny and not scuffed, try ice or dry ice to completely harden the nail polish, then with a VERY thin sharp knife, try to get under the polish edge (if they didn't try to wipe it up) and pop the polish off the floor, you may get some minor marks from the knife and some dull spots where the polish attacked the finish while it was curing, but you can hide that with Future floor polish.

    If resorting to acetone - About the only thing you can do is to dab it on the nail polish ONLY and try and work it off without getting any on the surrounding finish.
    If it dulls the surrounding finish, try bringing that back to a shine with a coat of Future floor polish (might as well do the whole floor when you've got it cleaned up), or do the spot with a car buffer very carefully so as not to burn through.

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