No matter how hard you might try to keep your wood furniture and flooring scratch-free, accidents happen. There are all sorts of DIY tricks to fix scratches, but if you don’t feel like experimenting with household ingredients like walnuts, tea bags, lemon juice, or cooking oil, there’s now a newer, easier way available.
For minor flaws in wooden surfaces, just look to wood markers for an instant touch-up. Wood markers typically come in a set of six to ten shades, from pale pine to ebony, alongside matching wax sticks, which are used to fill in particularly deep scratches after staining with the markers.
All you have to do is select the shade that most closely matches your floors/furniture, draw over the scratch with a light hand, wipe any excess ink away, and let it dry. You can even layer lighter and darker marker colors to get just the right shade — just remember to start on a small test area with the lightest color you think might work to avoid creating an even bigger mark.
Want to grab some right now? Amazon is chock full of wood marker sets in all sorts of shades and sizes, with prices starting at just $4.99 (This one by Ram-Pro is currently $8.99). You can probably also find them at your local home improvement store.
If you have a little more patience and prefer to use things you already have, here are some other easy ways to fix scratches in wooden furniture:
- Nuts! Yes, weirdly enough, you can use nuts of almost any waxy variety to fill in wood gouges and scratches, including almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, and pecans. This technique is a little hit or miss depending on the type of wood you’re dealing with, but if you have some nuts on hand, it’s worth a shot.
- Mix equal parts of lemon juice and vegetable oil and use a clean cloth to vigorously rub it in the direction of the scratch until it’s less visible.
- Already have plenty of markers and crayons laying around? See if you can match the shade of your wood surface, but again, take care to start with lighter colors that might work, or you risk making the problem worse.
- Coffee grounds act as a natural stain for darker wood surfaces. Dab some on with a Q-tip, let it sit for a few hours, and repeat as necessary.
- Tea bags work in a similar way. Steep a bag of black tea in just a few tablespoons of hot water for about five minutes, dab the tea into the scratch, wipe up the excess, and repeat as necessary.
- For tabletops that are heavily scratched, see if you can bring them back to life by sanding them down, filling in any deep gouges and holes with wood putty, and giving the surface a fresh coat of wood stain.
You might be surprised at just how beautifully you can restore a piece that appears too far gone to keep. Learning some simple tricks to repair and rehabilitate older items instead of replacing them goes a long way toward reducing waste and fighting disposability culture.