How to Repair Scratches on a Wood Table

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How you'll repair scratches on a wooden table depends largely on how deep the scratches actually run. Repair scratches on a wooden table with help from a 46-year-old master precision craftsman in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Furniture Repair Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Todd Languell, The Flying Furniture Guy from R and D Wood Shop in Scotia, New York. Today, I want to show you how to repair scratches on a wooden table. You can see I've got a nice little oval table here. I got a couple of scratches that are pretty deep here. They definitely go below the surface of the finish. And have scratched and you can feel them with your fingernail that there's a little divot in there. You can to put this down when you work on it. You want it to lay flat. So we are going to start with staining this crack. Now you can, you are going to use the stain that would most appropriately stain, the same stain as the table. You can't stain the entire surface without sanding it first. That's a real key point here. Some would just say well just go ahead and stain the whole thing. The problem with staining the whole thing is that those areas that still have polyurethane on if you stain over the top of the polyurethane it won't dry. And if it does dry it will be continuously sticky and tacky. So really what you want to do is use a feather technique and just stain the areas that need to be stained first. Because we are just doing a small repair on this table. So we are going to cover this arc scratch right here. and the one right next to it. Once you have that done you can go ahead and wipe it right back off using a real light touch. Because you are trying to leave as much stain inside that area as possible. I like to use a little bit of motion there. And a little bit there. Spread that out a little bit but make sure that you wipe the other areas a lot. You don't want to leave that stain on there. Okay you can see that I go that pretty well stained. It matches pretty darn good considering. If you needed a little bit more just go ahead excuse me, and stain it a little bit more if you wipe too much off. So you would just take a little bit more. And wipe it on the area that you real light where you think you wiped off a little bit too much. And try not to wipe it off as hard this time. What I like to do is I like to roll the rag so I kind of work myself up to it and roll up to it. And then I do the same thing. I roll it up to it and it leaves almost all of the stain inside the damaged area. You can see that was a much better staining application that time. Now you are saying well what about the finish? It's still missing some finish over the top. You take polyurethane and I've mixed my own polyurethane here. What I like to do this is a little different. What I like to do is I like to dip a long stick inside here so it runs down the tip. And then at the same time what I do is I put it right over the crack. And I work it right down that area so it fills in that void, just like that. So you are doing a little bit of a repair here at the same time. Get some on there so it flows down. You are just going to take drops and you are going to fill that area with drops. Then you take this drop work it right back over to this area. Okay. Now after this dries you are going to have a little bit on each side that doesn't belong because you are kind of bled over the area a little bit. Really what you want to do is a nice sanding block. And I can't do this right now because it has to dry first. You want to sand the whole thing at this point very, very lightly. And then polyurethane the whole thing. And what that is going to do is it's going to even out those surfaces and give you a nice smooth surface over the top of those areas that had void of the finish before. And that's a real good repair for a simple scar type scratch on a surface there. I'm Todd Languell, The Flying Furniture Guy, and this was how to repair scratches on a wood table.


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