No matter how careful a family is, furniture gets scratched and, unless you’re made of money, you’ll want to know how to fix scratches in wood. The culprit could be anything from keys or toys to Mr. Fluffy Boots deciding that his scratching post isn’t nearly as interesting as your dresser. Don’t let it get to you — scratches can be easily, and inexpensively, covered using a variety of things you already have around the house.
Are You Sure It’s Scratched?
Many times what looks like scratches in wood is actually a scratch in the wax buildup left behind by commercial furniture polish. If you suspect this might be the case, or if you’re dealing with buildup in addition to scratches, be sure you remove the wax buildup from your furniture before trying to fix the scratch.
Likewise, if you have oil- or water stains on your furniture, tend to them before trying to repair the scratches.
How To Fix Scratches In Wood Furniture
Very light scratches can be disguised by rubbing nut meat (walnut, pecan, etc.) along the scratch. The oil from the nut will darken the scratched wood, making it unnoticeable. Other options: coffee grounds for dark wood; iodine for mahogany; ashes for black wood; and shoe polish or markers for anything in between.
Slightly deeper scratches: If the scratch is more than simply visible (i.e., you can feel it when you run your finger over it) you’ll need something that both colors and fills. Chances are, you’ve already got the right tool in your child’s Crayon box: just find a color that matches your furniture and rub it along the scratch. Remove any excess Crayon was with the edge of a credit card.
Deep, dent-like scratches: I was once told to place a damp towel over a furniture ding and iron it with a warm iron. Supposedly, the ding would “pop right up”. Unfortunately, the person giving me that advice failed to mention that you MUST keep the iron in constant motion, and make sure the towel is constantly damp. If you’re nervous about it, just head to the hardware store and find a wax filler pen or pencil.
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After you’ve repaired the scratch, protect your wood furniture with a homemade furniture polish. Not only will it moisturize and clean the wood, it will also prevent that nasty wax buildup.
Equipment You May Need: