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Removing Deep Scratches in Woodwork


When we moved into our new place, we had some friends that scratched the woodwork while moving furniture. The scratches are quite deep and you can see white wood under the nice, dark stain. How can we fix this?


Lightly sand or steel wool the area to remove any loose wood fibers. Stain the light colored scratch with an oil based stain that will match the color of the finish. Use a very small amount of stain on a rag and scrub the oil stain into the scratch. When the wood in the scratch is the right color, is will almost disappear.

Several companies have simplified this repair process by putting oil based wood stain into marker-like containers. You just rub the stain marker on the scratch. I suggest you start with a stain color that is lighter than the original finish because torn and scratched wood fibers will absorb stain quickly and darken quickly. You can always apply a second coat if the first coat is too light in color.

To make the finish look like new, you can apply a wipe-on oil finish over the stained scratch. Use a small paint brush or Q-Tip to apply the clear finish to the damaged area only. Several coats can be used to build up a shiny finish.