How to Remove Scratches from a Wooden Table?

Scratches on wooden dining tables not only present an unsightly appearance; they leave the wood unprotected and open to staining and moisture. Scratches can be slight or deep, and removing each type requires a different method of repair. The finish of your wood dining table also plays a part in how to remove the scratches, especially if the scratch is deep.

Fixing Scratches in Furniture:

  1. Fix slight scratches with a stain pen. If the scratch is not deep and the wood has not been covered with polyurethane, use a finish or stain pen to cover the scratch. These pens resemble a marker and come in a variety of colors to match almost any wood. Gently rub the scratched area with 00-gauge steel wool. This will remove the current finish from the wood. Apply the pen to the scratched area just as you would if you were tracing a line. Refinish the section with paste wax or oil.
  2. Refinish the surface to fix deep scratches. If the scratch is deep and the piece is coated with poly, plan on refinishing the entire surface. Use 320-grit sandpaper to remove the existing finish. Use a 400-grit sandpaper to smooth out the scratch. Wipe the surface with a cloth soaked in mineral spirits to remove the sanding dust.
  3. Apply the new stain to the surface using a paintbrush or paint pad. Remove excess stain with a clean, soft cloth. Allow the stain to dry.
  4. Coat the surface with polyurethane by applying the poly with a brush or pad in thin, even strokes. Allow to dry and apply a second coat, if desired.

Scratch Removal Tips:

  1. Nutmeats, such as walnuts, pecans and almonds, can be run over light scratches to hide the scratch. Match the nutmeat to the type of wood being repaired.
  2. Use a child’s crayon to fill in the scratch if you can find one close enough in color.
  3. Iodine can be used to cover scratches in mahogany. Diluted iodine can be used to cover scratches in maple. Dilute the iodine with mineral spirits or household alcohol to the desired color.

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