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This is a super helpful article I had bookmarked from This Old House. I am sure that if you have kids, pets or a clumsy husband… this article will be extremely helpful LOL.
Over time our furniture experiences some wear and tear that just can’t be avoided. It adds up too and before you know it the entire top of your dresser is covered in cat claw marks, candle holder scratches and lots of little nicks and ticks.
Here’s the link to This Old House’s full article: This Old House: Fixing The Furniture Finish
Furniture is designed to be practical and so gets used on a daily basis. This means that it can become damaged and marked over time. This might make you want to replace your furniture with new pieces, but learning how to repair furniture finish is very simple. This will make your furniture look as good as new without needing to spend a fortune.
Cover Light Scratches Quickly
If a piece of furniture is covered in lots of very light scratches from everyday use then these can be repaired very easily. Scratch cover or a similar product can be used. This is a furniture polish which has a color in it and can conceal many scratches in furniture. Just a small amount applied in the same way as normal polish will be enough to hide most scratches and make your furniture look as good as new.
If there are any white rings left from hot mugs placed directly onto the table then these can be removed by using a small amount of denatured alcohol. Note though if the rings are black then the moisture has actually damaged the wood and in order to repair this you would actually need to remove the top finish and start again. If you apply too much denatured alcohol then it can take the shine off the surface of the furniture, however if this does happen it can be rectified by using some steel wool and furniture polish.
Repairing small chips
Any small chips which have not taken the color off the furniture can be filled with nothing more than clear nail varnish. Simply put a couple of drops into the chip and wait for it to dry. When dry use fine sandpaper to sand flush with the surface of the furniture. Use steel wool and paste wax to bring the shine back to any dull surfaces after you have rubbed it with sandpaper.
If the edges of a piece of furniture are worn then this can be repaired easily by using a felt tip touch up marker. The same technique can be applied to larger scratches which have taken the color out of the furniture. Use the pen to color in any damaged areas and try to avoid getting it on the undamaged parts of the furniture. Then use paste wax to create the same shine over the whole piece.
More Serious Damage
If there are any larger gauges, dents or scratches in a piece of furniture then you will need to do more work to repair them. Often the damage can leave a sharp edge around the damage. Use some sandpaper to remove the sharp edge and level the surface.
Then use a wax stick the right color for your furniture to fill the damaged area. Make sure that there is slightly too much wax in the damage and then use a credit card to scrape it off level. The furniture can be given its sheen by using wax paste applied and polished over the whole item.
Rather than using furniture polish from a store, you can use diluted dishwashing soap to clean and polish. This does just as good a job and does not leave any film over the surface of the furniture which will mean it doesn’t attract any extra dust.
Additional Resources: Looking for more furniture repair ideas?
Don’t miss this article by DIY Network and also this article by apartment therapy.