How to Get Scratches Out of Wood Furniture

old wood texture closeup

Wood furniture, cabinetry, and flooring can be very durable, but they are also susceptible to scratches and dents. However, minor scuffs and dings can often be fixed fairly easily without hiring professional help.

Below are five easy, noninvasive ways to cover up and minimize marks and imperfections and bring new luster back to wood items.*

Oil and Vinegar
It’s not just for salad! This is a good solution for treating larger areas. Mixing half a cup of olive oil with half a cup of vinegar creates a mixture that can minimize blemishes and bring shine back to wood surfaces.

Use a soft, lint-free cloth to apply liberally and rub in the direction of any scratches until they disappear. Lemon juice can be substituted for vinegar.

Coffee or Tea
For darker wood that is scratched, coffee or tea can be used to stain any exposed wood. Brew a very strong cup of coffee or use moistened coffee grounds and apply to the scratch with a cotton swab.

A cup of strong, dark tea can be used the same way. Sometimes it’s necessary to let sit over night and reapply a second time.

Markers or Crayons
A felt tip marker in just the right shade can help to hide smaller scratches. You can also raid your kid’s crayon box. Crayons are soft and waxy, so rubbing a matching color crayon over any scratched areas will help to fill them in. Any excess can be easily rubbed off. You can even mix two colors together for a closer match. If you have a hard time finding a marker or crayon at home to meet your need, local home improvement stores typically have a supply of specialized markers and crayons just for this purpose.

Are You Nuts?
Nut oils are wonderful for repairing nicks and scratches on wood surfaces. A walnut is the best option as they are soft.

Just rub the walnut over the damaged area and watch as scratches darken and disappear. The “meat” from the nut will also fill in cracks to make them appear smoother.

Wood Polish and/or Scratch Cover
One final option is to purchase a wood polish/scratch cover from your local home improvement store. They come in several colors so you can best match it to your wood. All you need is a soft, lint-free cloth to apply it over scuffed areas.

*Rent-A-Center customers should pay careful mind to the fact that Rent-A-Center refurbishes products itself and doesn’t encourage customers to modify the products they rent. The tips below are considered noninvasive techniques to enhancing wood furniture that isn’t necessarily rented from Rent-A-Center.