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8 Tricks You Can Try to Remove Scratches From Furniture

Updated: May 25, 2021

A gouge or scratch will spoil the look of a tabletop. Dust the affected area and clean it with a microfiber cloth, then try one of these remedies to match the color and texture of your table.

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Pour coffee on it

Make a small cup of very strong coffee and apply it to the scratch with a soft cloth. This should stain the exposed wood to the darker color of the finished wood.

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Color it in

Hide the scratch by rubbing it with a little shoe polish of a matching color. Alternatively, try an eyebrow pencil—soft, oil-based, and brown colored—ideal for camouflaging anything from small surface scratches to deeper ones.

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Fill it with crayon wax

If the scratch is deeper, raid your children’s wax crayon set. Grate part of a crayon into a small bowl; rest the bowl in a pan of boiling water to melt the wax, then drip the wax into the gouge, smoothing it with a flat knife. You can mix a color to match your wood by adding shavings from crayons of several colors.

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Rub a walnut on it

Nut oils are perfect for repairing damaged wood. Rub a walnut kernel over a scratch to diminish it, or apply a little walnut oil with a soft cloth.

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Smear on some peanut butter

Peanut butter makes a good beauty treatment for damaged wood. Rub a little on, leave it for an hour or so, then clean and buff.

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Lee Rogers/iStock

Add a bit of petroleum jelly

Smear petroleum jelly over a scratch and leave it overnight. It might help the surrounding wood to plump up and fill in the scratch. Wipe away in the morning and polish the surface.

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Wipe it out with car polish

On a French-polished tabletop, try removing the scratch with car polish. Take care to polish lightly so that you don’t rub away the rest of the finish.

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Spread mayonnaise over it

Treat cracked wood with a little mayonnaise for two to three days. Oils in the mayo will help swell the wood and fill the crack.

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Get More Simple Fixes!

For more info on over 1,000 simple repairs to everything in your home, get the book Easy Fixes for Everyday Things. Next, learn the best tips for how to remove sticker residue.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest