Scratches and stains can mar wood surfaces, but you can recover the beauty of wood through several quick fixes. While you may need to use more thorough methods from time to time, here's what to do in a hurry if the damage is only skin deep:
Fix Surface Scratches
Fixing surface scratches is relatively easy:
- You can easily find wood polishes that blend in surface scratches and missing stain. These are made in different shades to match most common shades of wood. Select one that closely matches your piece’s finish and apply the wood polish to blend in any surface damage.
- A light coat of wax can fix superficial scratches.
If you prefer homemade recipes, these easy to find materials can also be used to treat light scratches and discolorations:
- Crayons are one of the easiest ways to fill in scratches. Find the color that matches your finish most closely. You may have to mix two colors to get the desired effect. Rub into the scratch, then smooth with a soft cloth. Crayons are also great on painted finishes.
- You can also use walnuts or Brazil nuts to fill in scratches in light wood. Be sure to cut them first to release the oil. Rub into the scratch and smooth.
- Iodine from your medicine cabinet can hide surface scratches on darker wood, though you may have to apply more than one coat to get the right shade. Use Q-tips to gently rub into the scratch and then let it dry.
Erase Water Ring Stains
Water ring stains can look very unsightly and using coasters is an easy way to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some tips if you do happen to get them:
- Place a thick piece of cloth over the water ring and press it with a warm iron. Rub the warm iron over the cloth-covered water ring until it disappears. Take care not to go beyond the cloth or you’ll end up with a singed surface.
- Use lemon oil or orange oil for stubborn water rings. Let the oil set on the water ring overnight, or at least a few hours. Wipe off excess oil. Even if it doesn’t disappear completely the stain will be less apparent.
- An equal mixture of white toothpaste and mayonnaise is also effective. Apply, then wipe off with a soft cloth. You may have to rub it for a little while for the ring to lighten considerably. Afterwards, rub the area with orange oil or lemon oil to make it go away completely.