Sand and refinish the furniture
If the scratch is large, deep, or in a highly visible spot, you may need to sand and refinish the piece. You can accomplish this in different ways, depending on the severity of the damage. If the entire piece is scratched up, you may have to strip the wood of its finish. After that is complete, you can use a sander, sandpaper, or even steel wool to rub out the scratches. Once these have disappeared, you can refinish or paint the piece, and it will look brand new again. This is the most effective—but also the most cumbersome—method to get scratches out of wood furniture.
Brew a cup of tea
A black tea bag can actually solve the issue of scratches in your wood furniture. Heat water in a cup or mug, and let a black tea bag steep in it for about three minutes, the same way you would if you were making yourself a cup of tea to drink. Try to match the color of the tea to the stain on the wooden furniture you’re aiming to fix a scratch in. Use a cotton swab to soak up some of the tea, and gently dab it onto the scratches. Wipe away excess tea quickly with a paper towel so that the wood surrounding the scratch doesn’t become stained as well. Repeat this process as many times as it takes to get the desired color onto the scratch. It’s important to note that this method is best for only surface-level scratches, as it may camouflage deep scratches, but it won’t fix them.
Fill in deep scratches with walnuts
It may seem unconventional, but you can actually use walnuts to fill in deep scratches in your wooden furniture. When you open a walnut, there should be an oil-like substance on the inside—scoop some of it out, and rub it against the scratches on your furniture. Continue to rub the walnut oil onto the scratches until it fills them completely. Once you’ve done this, you can take a small, soft cloth and gently polish off the extra. This helps to fill in gaps and fill up deeper scratches in your nice wooden furniture.
Channel your inner artist with watercolor paints
Take out all your favorite art supplies, and get ready to make your wooden furniture your masterpiece. Pick out a watercolor paint that most closely resembles the stain color on your wooden furniture piece—and then get to painting. Paint in the scratches, and then allow the paint to dry. Repeat this with as many layers as necessary to fill in and camouflage the scratches. Once the scratch reaches the color of your liking, apply a thin layer of varnish to protect it from further damage. Watercolor paints are a good option because they go on thin, allowing you to add more layers as needed. A more saturated paint, on the other hand, will start off opaque and not leave much room for improvements.
Get caffeinated with instant coffee
Instant coffee is another sneaky way to fill in scratches on your wood furniture. This method works best with wood that has a dark stain to begin with. Mix the instant coffee grounds with water to create a thick paste. Once you have the right ratio of coffee to water (hint: use a ton of coffee and very little water), rub the paste into the scratch. The coffee mixture should fill any gaps while maintaining a close color to the rest of the wood. This is another great method for deep scratches, as well as furniture with many scratches over different parts of the piece. Remember to wipe off excess paste promptly and gently with a soft cloth such as a microfiber rag.
Color it in with felt tip markers
Felt-tipped markers are perfect for filling in tiny scratches. You can easily remedy scratches that aren’t very deep but tend to be noticeable by coloring them in. Look for a felt-tipped marker in a similar—if not near exact—color to the stain on your wood. You can then color in the parts of the wood with the markers. The small fibers, as well as the color, should make smaller scratches disappear.
There are tons of methods for how to get scratches out of wood furniture. A lot of the best methods depend on the wood type and the details of the scratch. If you have a scratch and aren’t quite sure how to tackle it, it can be beneficial to involve a professional woodworker. Enlisting a professional can help you to understand which method is right for your piece of furniture and what the different scratch types require.
Wood furniture is always a great addition to any home. For all of your custom and heirloom-quality wooden furniture needs, contact us at Vintage Mill Werks, where we make beautiful and high-quality solid wood furniture to meet your exact needs. Check out our selection of farmhouse sideboards and other items that can instantly add intrigue and style to your home.