Repairing Scratches on Wood Furniture

Category Furniture
It is very dismaying to discover scratches on your wood furniture. This is a page about repairing scratches on wood furniture.
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October 6, 2010

To cover scratches on wood furniture, rub a matching color crayon into the scratch and smooth with the fingers. Heat and oil from your finger will blend in the crayon. Alternatively, cover with petroleum jelly overnight. Rub in well, remove excess and buff.

To fix light scratches or blemishes on walnut, rub the scratch with a piece of walnut or pecan meat, then wax with the product you normally use.

For mahogany, rub the scratch with a dark brown crayon or a brown commercial wax product, then buff with your fingers, then a cloth.

For red mahogany, apply ordinary iodine with a small brush and wax with the product you normally use.

For maple, add iodine to denatured alcohol to get the right color and apply with a q-tip, then dry, wax and buff.

For ebony, use black shoe polish, black eyebrow pencil or black crayon.

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For teak, rub very gently with 0000 steel wool. Rub in equal amounts of linseed oil and turpentine.

By Ron from Cortez, CO

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For furniture scratches, rub the meat of the walnut (no shell!) over any scratches or nicks. Test the method on a less visible area to be sure it doesn't darken the wood. I haven't yet had a problem with this.

By Monica from Cortez, CO

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November 22, 2004

Use shoe polish (paste or wax-based) to touch up nicks and scratches on door frames and furniture. It's quick and easy to use, and when rubbed in really makes the scratch seem to disappear.

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By Kathy

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September 4, 2008

A couple days ago I was given a lovely old dresser, oak I think. Unfortunately it got scratched in a couple tiny spots in the move. I didn't have any kind of scratch cover on hand.

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Rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture to cover up scratches.

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I bought a nice oak look cabinet at a thrift store for my redecorated bathroom but it had some scratches and nicks. At the dollar store, I bought a bottle of brown liquid shoe wax and with a cotton ball went gently over the nicks, scratches and worn spots.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 16, 2007

I have a coffee table that is a dark wood finish. It was given to me by my husband's mother, not exactly sure how old it is. It is starting to loose its shiny service and upon that my son decided to play on it and has made several scratches on the surface. How can I bring back the shine and make the scratches at least a little less noticeable.

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Lisa from Vacaville, CA

Answers

August 16, 20070 found this helpful

They have wood coloring that comes in crayon form at hardware stores to put on the scratches. Just match to the color of your wood. Then you can put the shin back in several ways. To just put a shine on you can get linseed oil or a paste wax and rub into the wood. To put a protection on the table you can polyurithan(not sure I spelled right) or for a heavy protection you can put epoxy coating on the table, these take a little longer to set and dry but if you have the time it may be worth it in the long run to keep the table longer. :)

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By joan (Guest Post)
August 16, 20070 found this helpful

The best thing I have found for your problem is a liquid called Old English Scratch cover. It comes for light or dark wood.

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Follow bottle directions and I think you will be very happy with the new finish. After, simply shine it with furniture wax. I love Behold.

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August 17, 20070 found this helpful

I agree with Joan, Old English works wonders on the scratches and there is Johnson's Mini Wax go to your local Lowe's store and ask the person in the paint dept. what would restore the lustre back. I hope i have been helpful to you.

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August 18, 20070 found this helpful

I got paint stain markers from walmart that matched the wood colors of my furniture. They worked perfectly. The come in alot of shades too.

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By Anna from Maine (Guest Post)
August 18, 20070 found this helpful

Use Old English to blend the color then take dark shoe polish (Kiwi is one, it is the wax type) rub all over the table then buff well with a soft cloth. I used to do upholstery work and this remedy worked very well for me. You can build up the wax shoe polish over the scratches so they don't show.

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By Carol in PA (Guest Post)
August 19, 20070 found this helpful

Old English scratch cover is the best way to repair your table. I'd apply it all over the whole table. This method is tried and true.

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On HGTV's Design Remix, the host talks about a product called "furniture restorer." I'm not sure what that is, but would like to find out. Years ago we had a product called Liquid Gold that was said to restore furniture to its original luster.

But, I have used Old English Scratch Cover (for dark wood) and have had success. I always keep it on hand for touchups when needed. Your furniture will look like new.

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By Claudia-MD (Guest Post)
August 20, 20070 found this helpful

I agree on the Old English scratch cover. I have antique mix&max dining room chairs and using this stuff covers any little nicks or scratches and makes them shine with a rich glow. Great stuff and inexpensive. A bottle will last you for years.

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March 1, 2010

I've just purchased a second hand table. In transport it was scratched by accident. It's a clear varnished maple coloured table. The scratches are white and quite deep. Does anyone have any ideas how to cover them? Thanks.

By dolly123 from UK

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April 29, 2008

Best way to remove scratch from an oak table top?

Jerry from Lee's Summit, MO

Answers

April 29, 20080 found this helpful

You can't really remove the scratch, but you can fill it in the so it will blend with the rest of the wood. Use a crayon which is a close match to the oak table top. Gently melt the crayon to soften it and apply over the scratch, then buff with a soft cloth.

It really works!

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April 30, 20080 found this helpful

You might try lightly sanding it if the scratch isn't deep and apply a matching oak stain over the entire table top. I worked out a sizeable scratch on an old cherry sewing machine cabinet and then restained over the drawer and you couldn't tell it was ever scratched and I used an electric sander. If you try this out, you will need a protective finish.

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By Cathy from Townsville (Guest Post)
May 1, 20080 found this helpful

Go to your hardware store or French Polisher and get special crayons that are made for just that problem. Don't use the 'rub it with a shelled walnut' tip if it comes up, I've tried it and it's a myth!

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May 2, 20080 found this helpful

Try Old English scratch remover. Gary dominicus

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Answer this Question...

August 19, 2010

How can I get rid of small scratches on my dark wooden table?

By Ginseng from England

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January 3, 2011

How do you fix scratches on a coffee table?

By Helen Bra

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September 13, 2018

This is a page about covering up nicks and scratches on wood. In addition to store bought scratch repair items, you can try instant coffee and crayons to try covering up scratches and nicks on your furniture.

A row of crayons.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 3, 2011

How can I remove a couple scratches on a dark wood table?

By Barb from Nashville, TN

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August 19, 2010

An antique dealer told me this useful trade secret for covering up light scratches on dark wood furniture. Take a shelled walnut and rub it along the scratch several times, then wax or polish as normal and rub to a shine.

By Lucy

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August 19, 2010

An antique dealer told me this useful trade secret for covering up light scratches on dark wood furniture. Take a shelled walnut and rub it along the scratch several times, then wax or polish as normal and rub to a shine.

By Lucy

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July 16, 2010

I put a flower pot on my sister's new dining room table while I was arranging flowers and have scratched her table as I was turning the pot while adjusting the flowers. There are many scratches, but not deep ones. Is there a way to fix this short of buying her a new dining room set? The table is dark wood, but there is no polished shine.

Theresa from Newfoundland

Answers:

Removing Scratches From Wood Table

If you can find a product called "Old English Furniture Polish and Scratch Cover". It is a tinted furniture polish. If that is unavailable, you may be able to sharpen a child's wax crayon that matches the wood and lightly apply to the scratches and then wipe away excess. (08/20/2008)

By Suze

Removing Scratches From Wood Table

I have used this before on dark wood. Take a pecan and rub on the scratches. Hope this helps! (08/21/2008)

By Norma

Removing Scratches From Wood Table

They sell special brown crayons to fill in tiny scratches, and they will truly be forever invisible. Any fine furniture store will know where you can get them, or just search "furniture scratch crayons". (08/21/2008)

By Kim Churchman

Removing Scratches From Wood Table

I've used crayons before and found they are only good for a very superficial scratch. I had deeper scratches and nicks in a beautiful wood cabinet. I used a marker pen in the wood color. It looked and went on exactly like a magic marker. What worked great for me is that I filled in the scratch or nick with the marker not being careful at all with going outside the lines, filling it in well all over. Then I took a steel wool pad, but not the regular ones, the one which has little squiggly pieces and doesn't scratch at all. I put some olive oil on it and rubbed over the marker. That took the marker off any flat spot and left the marker only in the scratch or nick itself. The cabinet looks like new now! (11/21/2009)

By sarajane

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