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DIY Projects: How to Remove Scratches from Wood Furniture?


15 April 2010- This is one of the common problems with wood furniture- how to remove scratches from them? However, removing scratches from wood furniture is easy and will take only some time and effort to do. Removing scratch from wood generally involves hiding them. And what's important is that you do not need to buy scratch remover to hide scratches on wood articles, certain household goods will do the work of removing scratches very well. You might need some other ingredients from home improvement stores though.

Tips to Remove Scratches from Wood Finish

First you must identify whether the scratch visible on wood is on the wood finish only or has gone deep into wood. How to identify whether the scratch is on wood finish? Check whether the scratch has been discolored or not. Scratches on wood finish are generally not discolored. Secondly, if it is on wood finish, you can see the scratch from certain angles only.
  • Give a fresh coat of paste wax to remove minor scratches from wood finish.
  • Add lemon juice and vegetable oil or olive oil in equal parts. Take a clean lint free cloth and make it damp with the mixture of lemon and oil. Rub the wood with this cloth firmly in the direction of the scratch to remove it.
  • If your wood furniture has urethane or polyurethane finishes, sand the scratch with 600 grit sandpaper. Apply some water or lemon oil to make the sandpaper damp. Remember to sand the wood furniture gently while removing scratches. The shine of the wood furniture may be lost due to sanding. To restore its shine, buff with paste wax.
  • To remove scratches from a wood furniture having shellac or lacquer finish, paint the scratched area with an appropriate solvent such as alcohol for shellac finish and lacquer thinner or nail polish remover for lacquer finish. Follow the right technique while painting- paint the thinner on with a brush until the finish softens and fills the cracks. Now let the wood furniture dry overnight so that the finish gets hardened. This technique will efficiently remove scratches from wood furniture.

Tips to Remove Scratches from Wood

Remove Scratches from Wood Furniture
Remove Scratches from Wood
The above tips for removing scratches will work only if they are on wood finish but if the scratches have gone deep into the wood (if so, the scratch will appear lighter in color), you must follow other tips to remove scratches such as the ones mentioned here. You might also require some scratch remover if the scratches get more tougher.
  • Take one of any nutmeats- Brazil nut, a walnut, a pecan, or an almond- and rub it into the scratch. Remember to rub in the direction of the scratch. Also be careful to rub the nutmeat exactly in the scratch otherwise it will darken the surrounding wood as well.
  • Take a matching colored eye brow pencil to hide scratches that are very small or minor. Be careful to rub it in the direction of the scratches.
  • Wax crayons can also be used to hide scratches instead of eyebrow pencils. This is the easiest way to hide scratches because they are essentially wax and can be removed as and when desired.
  • You can even use shoe polish of matching color to hide scratches on wood furniture. If using liquid shoe polish, apply it with the help of a fine brush and if using paste shoe polish, us cotton swab to rub the wood to remove scratches.
  • To remove scratches from mahogany wood furniture, use iodine. For brown or cherry mahogany wood, use iodine that has turned dark. For lighter woods like maple, dilute the iodine with an equal amount of denatured alcohol. Apply it on your wood furniture to hide scratches. In any case, use a fine brush to paint the iodine carefully into the scratch. Initially keep the solution light to remove scratches so that there is scope to darken the area afterwards, if required.


Read some Tips on Sanding, Staining, Painting and Finishing Wood Cabinets

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