Have you ever walked by a piece of furniture and spot a mark on surface that you had never noticed before? Did your niece, nephew, son, daughter or maybe a neighbor’s kid play on your coffee or other table with a toy and left a deep scratch? It happens to most of us at one time or another, so much so, there are companies that will come to your home and repair them. The solution for you is to hire one of the companies to fix the problem or do it yourself.
Repairing scratches in some situations is a misnomer as some of these procedures merely disguises or hides the scratch. Many professionals use some or all of these methods to make repairs. Doing it, yourself will not only save you money, but will give you the pride and bragging rights of saying you fixed it yourself.
The material needed to make the repair depends on the nature of your damage, so I will tell you what you need in each situation.
Light Scratches are simply a surface scratch that you can see but not feel. The scratch did not dig into the finish so you can repair it with toothpaste or automotive polishing compound. Place a small amount of toothpaste or polishing compound on a soft cloth, gently rub the scratch back and forth for five to ten seconds, in the direction of the grain. The scratch should disappear with the initial rubbing but if it did not, apply a little more compound and try again, applying a little more pressure, but be careful not to rub though the finish. If the area you rubbed is now brighter or shinier than the rest of the table, lightly rub entire surface to match.
A scratch you can feel with your finger or fingernail but does not have go down to the wood is different to treat than the light scratches. Some scratches can be covered or disguised with a furniture reviver, such as Briwax Furniture reviver. Wood colored wax sticks are also a good product to fill scratches. Rub the wax stick back and forth across the scratch to fill the void. When scratch is filled use the edge of a credit card type of plastic to gently scrape the wax, in one direction, to level the repair and buff the surface clean with a soft cloth.
Deep scratches are repaired using varnish or shellac to disguise the scratch. Wood scratched past the stain, wood colored felt tip markers are available to re-stain the scratch. Using a fine tipped artist brush, dip it in the varnish or shellac and patiently paint the scratch to fill the it until just above the surface, allow to dry. With a single edge razor blade, scrape the raised finish very lightly, not damaging the surrounding area, until the filled area is level with the rest of the surface. Sand the area with a 600 grit or finer sandpaper very lightly to smooth the repair. Buff with polishing compound, clean surface and you are done.