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If you’ve spilled nail polish on your finished wood floor, you’re probably going to remove part of that finish when you remove the nail polish. So my friends at East Valley Floors suggest that you try to remove the dried-on nail polish by using a damp, white towel to dab a bit of rubbing alcohol on the spot before you put anything harsher on your delicate finish.

Before you apply it to your spot, test it on a piece of scrap wood or on a spot of your floor that’s covered by furniture or carpeting.

If rubbing alcohol doesn’t remove the nail polish, dab the stain with mineral spirits—a mild, petroleum-based solvent that painters sometimes use instead of turpentine to clean paint brushes. Be careful not to spill the solvent on the unstained area of your floor, as it might remove the finish.

Still no luck? Break out the nail-polish remover—but use a non-acetone brand. And if that still doesn’t do the trick, try an acetone-based nail polish—but be aware that it’s going to take the finish off of your floor along with the polish. Lacquer thinner will work much the same way.

If you’re careful to dab just the polish and not the surrounding floor, you will create only a small area of damage to the floor. Lightly sand the unfinished area and then recoat it with an oil-based urethane, using a narrow, artist’s paint brush.

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