Repairing Scratches on Wooden Furniture

Customer Information | 15.01.16

If you have wooden furniture of any sort, you’ll know that there are the normal day to day concerns over scratches or damage. Has that hot cup got a coaster underneath it? Mop that sticky spillage up quickly and make sure whatever cleaning cloth or fluid you use doesn’t damage the wood! Don’t drag that dish across the table, pick it up. All phrases we’re probably familiar with.

However, because we’re so diligent about the day to day, that’s not normally when the accidents happen. Often it’s when things are being moved around. Packing up a removal van, putting things in or getting things out of storage or moving them around while you decorate or renovate; these are all times when damage can easily happen. Of course, packing things up and protecting them effectively reduces the chance of scratches and damage to wooden furniture. But sometimes, no matter how careful we are the worst happens. A blanket slips off, bubble wrap get snagged and tears or there just isn’t enough room to manoeuvre things around and they get knocked resulting in small marks or dents.
If the damage is severe, then you’ll probably have to get a specialist in to repair your item of furniture. You’ll need to weigh up the cost of the repair against the value of the furniture (and don’t forget to factor in the sentimental cost – sometimes it’s not just about the money).

However, if the scratches are minor, there are a few ways you can repair the damage yourself.

The first and most obvious option is to get online or go to your local DIY shop and buy a wood scratch repair stick or kit. An even cheaper alternative is to use a wax crayon. In both cases make sure you have a good colour match.

If you don’t want to wait for your kit to arrive, or can’t get to the nearest DIY shop, there are other ways of repairing minor scratches which use ordinary things that can be found at home. A quick search online brings up all sorts of things, but the most consistently used and recommended are:

Clear Nail Polish
For use on light scratches to the finish (the scratch has not gone deep into the wood). Apply a little to fill the scratch.

Lemon Juice or vinegar and Cooking Oil
Mix one part lemon juice to one part cooking oil. Dip a lint free cloth into the mixture and rub over the area until the mark or scratch is no longer noticeable. There are lots of examples on this pinterest board.

Nuts & Tea – Used for light scratches
Crack open the nut and and rub it against the scratch. Then rub the wood with your finger to warm up the wood – it helps the wood absorb the nut oil. Brazil, walnut, pecan and almonds seem to be the most popular.
Steep a black tea bag (no green teas or herbals ones – just plain old tea) in a few tablespoons of water. The longer you leave the teabag, the darker the solution, you’ll need to match it with your wood. Use a cotton bud to dip into the tea solution and rub it into the scratch. Be sure to wipe off any excess. Let it dry and then repeat if necessary until the scratch is gone.

Coffee Grinds – used on darker woods
Make a past of coffee grounds and water. Use a cotton bud to rub into the scratch. Wipe of any excess and leave to dry. If necessary, repeat until the mark is gone.
Some American sites also recommend using Iodine using the same process – dip in a cotton bud and rub in the scratch. However, unless you already have iodine in your medicine cabinet, it can be expensive to buy in the UK and can only be bought from health outlets.

We have sites in Bristol, Gloucester and Stroud. If you need to put your furniture into storage and want some advice on packing and protecting it, get in touch.

Have you got any great tips for repairing marks or scratches on furniture?

Image Copyright: lemonadv / 123RF Stock Photo

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