How to fix scratches on furniture

Scratches on our furniture always gives us a headache, especially if you notice them on high quality solid wood pieces or on your favorite piece of furniture. Luckily, in most cases you won’t need to go reaching for the best paint for wood furniture, right away. Also, after the treatment your furniture will be shiny as never before.

fixing scratches on furniture

We will cover the most common techniques used to fix scratches on furniture.

Walnut, Coffee and Tea

You will be surprised that slight scuffs can actually be covered up with a few things that may already be in your kitchen. For example, if you have a wooden table with light or medium stain, use the meat of a walnut (not the shell) and simply rub the areas where the scuffs are.

For tables with darker wood stains, rub the scuffed area with used coffee grounds or black tea. Coffee grounds, instant coffee and black tea are used to tint a scratched area so it better matches its darker cherry surroundings. Steep a tea bag or used coffee grounds in a small amount of water, but the goal is to make the liquid as dark as possible. Dab the liquid over scratches with a cotton swab to darken the fresh wood. For instant coffee, make a paste with very little water and 1/2 teaspoon or so of instant coffee. Rub the paste into the scratch, wiping away excess. It make take several applications to match the tint to the surrounding area.

fixing scratches on furniture with wallnut

Crayon, Markers and Paint

Sometimes is easier to cover up a furniture scratch rather than actually removing it. Choose a wax crayon that matches the color of the finish on your scratched furniture. Color in the scratch, then rub the spot with your finger to blend the crayon with the finish. Another way to hide scratches is to cover them with an oil-based craft or artist’s paint (from a tube). Choose a color that’s darker than the finish on the furniture. Rub a little into the scratch, and the scratch will appear to blend in with the finish.

Use a marker to apply the line of paint over the affected area. If you’re unsure if the marker color is an exact match, choose one light shade and one slightly darker, filling in the scrape with the lightest one first. After you applied the paint on the scratch, polish the surrounding area with dry cloth. If you want to hide scratches in varnished wooden furniture, apply watercolor paint to the affected area, using an artist’s brush. Once a scratch is concealed, fill it in with varnish.

fixing scratches on furniture with crayyons

Iodine and Rubbing

First aid for a scratch in dark wood is just like first aid for a scratched finger, you have to break out the iodine. Use a cotton swab to apply the iodine to the scratch and then use a paper towel to wipe away the excess so it doesn’t stain the wood around the scratch. Another way is to rub out surface scratches in your wooden furniture with a paste made of mineral oil and pumice (available in powder form at hardware and paint stores). Use extra-fine-grade steel wool to rub the mixture into the scratched area. Then wipe it off and buff with a dry cloth.

Iron the dents

If the damage is a dent, and none of the wood is actually scratched away, you can sometimes lift the compressed wood with steam from a clothes iron. Set the iron to a high setting, and mist the dent with plain water. Place a damp cloth over the dent, and gently press the hot iron over the cloth in small circles, keeping the iron moving for about three minutes, checking every minute or so to see if the dent has been raised.

Repair kits

If none of DIY methods doesn’t get the job done or you want do deal with scratches like a professional, then you can try out huge array of products for dealing with scratches. One of most common ones are the stain wood repair markers and they give amazing results for small amount of money. If you want to polish the scratches and surrounding area then we recommend scratch cover liquid. If you want to learn more check out our article on Furniture restoration or our review of the Furniture bible book.

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