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Remove Scratches from Wood Furniture

Why Do This?

Even small scratches on an otherwise well-maintained piece of wooden furniture can leave it looking haggard and old. Luckily, removing scratches from wood is quick and easy if done properly. Follow these steps to remove those dings, scrapes and scratches in no time.

Time: 15 minutes

What You'll Need

  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • soft cloth
  • stain or finish or paint
  • toothpick
  • small paint brush (optional)
  • walnut

How To:

Note: For expensive or antique furniture, it’s best to check with your manufacturer or a qualified expert before repairing scratches because these pieces of furniture often have special requirements.

  1. 1

    Identify the type of scratch. Depending on how deep the scratch is, you’ll use different methods to repair it. If the scratch has stayed the same color as the rest of the wood, it’s only gone as deep as the finish. If the scratch is a different color than the surrounding area (or has gone through all layers of paint) then it has scratched the actual wood.

  2. 2

    For scratches on the finish. Create a 1-1 mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. Use a soft cloth to rub the damaged area until the scratch is removed. Apply a new coat of stain, finish or paint (whichever type your furniture already has) to the area you rubbed with the cloth. Always follow the instructions when using these products.

  3. 3

    For scratches on unpainted wood. Rub a walnut (pecans, almonds and Brazil nuts also work) into the scratch so that it fills the area. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes so that the oil from the nut soaks in and repairs the scratch. Then, buff the area with a soft cloth. The scratch should be gone!

  4. 4

    For scratches on painted wood. Touching up a painted surface is easy as long as you have the matching paint available! Simply dip the tip of a toothpick (or brush for larger scratches) into the paint and slowly cover the scratched area. If your painted furniture has a layer of finish, be sure to replace that as well.

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