How to Remove Scratches from Wood Furniture

5 min read

how to remove scratches from wood furniture

There isn’t a home on this planet that does not feature at least one or two types of wood furniture. But despite being beautiful and durable throughout the years, this type of furnishing is also highly susceptible to scratches and dents.

Minor scratches can be easily fixed with some imagination and the proper materials. Deep and more serious scratches might be more challenging, especially if it’s an antique piece of furniture.

How to Remove Scratches from Wood Furniture

For minor scratches, you can use a few helpful household items and the result will be as good as new.

  • Make a cleaning solution. First, you will have to clean up the area around the scratch. All you need is a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent, a gallon of warm water, and a bucket. Mix everything together thoroughly.
  • Use a lint-free cloth. Once your simple solution is ready, dip a cloth in it and wring out all the excess water as much as you can. The scratched area of your wooden furniture should be damp, not soaked.
  • Clean up. Rub the lint-free cloth to remove the oil, grease, or old furniture polish from the scratched area –you will need a clean space to work on for the next step. If you have more scratches, wash and wring the cloth before starting on each.
  • Give your furniture some time. After cleaning up the surface, do not start immediately with the repairs. Blot some excess droplets and then let it dry for a few minutes.
  • Pick up your weapon – black tea. Unexpected weapon, isn’t it? It’s important to note that only black tea will do the trick here. Do not use herbal or green tea as only black tea will produce wood-like hues.
  • Make a concoction. Make a cup up black tea. The water should be boiling when you pour it on the teabag. Let it steep for a few minutes. The darker your furniture’s colour, the longer you should soak the tea bag. This way, the tea will produce a darker colour.
  • Apply the herbal solution. Dip a cotton swab into the tea and apply it on the scratched surface. Wipe immediately if the concoction gets on the surrounding area as it may get coloured as well.

Check also:

How to Repair a Wobbly Chair

A Few Easy Tool Replacements

Black tea is not the only household item that can help you with fixing furniture scratches. Here are a few other useful tools.

  • Use instant coffee. Rubbing a paste of instant coffee and warm water only on the scratched area would have the same effect.
  • Use mayonnaise. Mayonnaise oils make the wood swell up. If you treat a scratch, a dent, or a crack with mayo for a few days, the wood will swell up and fill in the crack.
  • Use shoe polish. Find shoe polish that matches the colour of your wood furniture and rub only on the scratch.
  • Use a walnut. Nut oils are nature’s gift to the human body, and they’re also perfect for repairing damaged wood. Just rub a walnut over the scratch and it will instantly vanish.
  • Use crayon wax. Grate a small crayon of the same colour in a bowl and boil it in water to melt the wax. Drip the wax into the scratched or dented area. This is also a good tool for fixing deeper scratches. Another good thing is that, with crayons, you can mix and match colours to get the closest one to your wooden furniture.

Don’t forget!

It doesn’t matter which tool you use to fix the wood furniture scratch, as long as you wipe the area dry after the initial clean. Whatever you apply later on has to get only into the scratch itself and not spill on the surrounding area.

How to Fix Deep Scratches on Wood Furniture

Here, we tackle the problem of deep scratches. Crayons and coffee won’t do the trick in this situation. In many cases, you might have to call a professional to repair the furniture. But if you believe that you can do it yourself, here comes the heavy artillery.

  • Clean the scratched area. Same as last time – use a soft cloth to clean up the damaged area. This time, however, use a specialised hardwood cleaner. There will be a leftover solution, so use a damp rag to get that out of the way. Allow the area to completely dry out.
  • Rub mineral spirits over the scratch. This is done in case your furniture is coated with a layer of polyurethane. It should be stripped off so you can fix the scratch. Gently rub a soft cloth, dipped in mineral spirits. Afterward, wipe with a dry cloth and let it dry off completely.
  • Fill in the scratch. Use a specialised wood filler to fill in the scratch or dent. Judge the right amount by eye and use your finger to work it in and avoid air bubbles. Even if you put too much of the stuff, the excess filler can be easily removed later. Also, avoid getting wood putty, it’s a common mistake. The two substances are very different.
  • Remove excess filling. If you put too much, you can use a putty knife to smoothen the surface. It can also help push the wood filler deeper into the scratch. This may take hours to do though, so be prepared. And don’t forget to find out how much time the filler needs to dry out (check the package).
  • Sand excess filling. Use fine sandpaper on the dried area around the scratch. Always sand by following the direction of the wood’s grain. Or you can also sand by going in small circles, just make sure you do it lightly.
  • Seal the fixed area. Use a soft brush to apply a layer of polyurethane, varnish, or sealer. Give it at least 24 hours to dry out before touching the area again.

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6 Responses

  1. Aarsun Woods says:

    Very informative post… I like your ideas.

  2. Thomas Max says:

    First time on internet i ever seen such tremendous superb article on furniture related stuff. It really helpful for me because i also have furniture company where i used to do lot of furniture related works. This article is very good and methods given are also quite handy to be utilized in works. Thanks to author for such good quality information.

  3. Hannah J Parrish says:

    Have you tried using Mafura Butter combined with Olive oil as a natural wood polish. My friend made one and gave it to me as a gift and I absolutely love it.

  4. Jaipur Carpenter says:

    This is an amazing article, a very interesting concept.
    All the tips are very helpful and i wish to read more articles like that in future.
    Keep Posting, Thankyou !

  5. Inam Hussain says:

    I got to learn a lot by reading your article. Give me many days. I need this article to be a furniture expert myself, so thank you.

  6. Saws Hub says:

    Great refresher! This blog will go into my notes as a great read from time to time

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