Grease, Tar, Paint, Crayon, and Lipstick Spots

­These spots usually affect only the surface of the finish. To remove wet paint, use the appropriate solvent on a soft cloth -- mineral spirits for oil-base paint, water for latex paint. To remove dry paint or other materials, very carefully lift the surface residue with the edge of a putty knife. Do not scrape the wood, or you'll scratch the finish. When the surface material has been removed, buff the area very lightly along the grain of the wood with No. 0000 steel wool moistened with mineral spirits. Then wax and polish the entire surface.