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DIY Ways to Remove Scratches from Wooden Furniture


Unlike your home appliances, when you put good money into furniture, you expect it to last decades. That’s why it’s frustrating when there are a few minor scratches that ruin the look of the furniture. When there is major damage, you can search for “furniture repair near me” and hire professionals to fix it for you. However, for minor scratches, you can try the following DIY methods and save your money.

The Details

  1. Coffee grounds – Everyone loves a cup of coffee in the morning. Coffee grounds also have many uses and that’s why people like to save them for making compost, skincare, and other uses. You’d be glad to know that those coffee grounds can now also be used to fix minor scratches on your furniture. As long as it’s a dark wood piece, modern or vintage, coffee grounds can always do the job.

Inspect the scratched area and mark a boundary with the carpenter’s tape. Use a Q-tip to work coffee grounds into the scratched portion. Allow the coffee grounds to sit there and work their magic for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, get a clean cotton rag and buff off the residue. If it didn’t have a satisfactory effect, try with fresh coffee grounds the next time you pour yourself a cup. Make sure to use this method only for dark wood. Using it for fixing scratches on lighter wood will have adverse effects.

  1. Polish – Polish also works great at hiding scratches on your wooden furniture. You can get either car or shoe polish. If you have car polish, it’s best to use it on lighter wood and work it gently over the scratched area. Make sure to be very careful and nimble with the polish so that you don’t remove the shine or seal on your furniture along with the scratch.

On the other hand, if you want to fix the scratch with shoe polish, it’s best to use one that comes in a liquid or paste form. Use a cotton swab to apply the polish to the scratched surface. Before you start applying the polish it’s best to color match it with the wood. Apple the polish on a plank or a different piece of scrap wood and compare it to the furniture. If it isn’t color-matched, the final result would look horrible even after the scratch is fixed.

  1. Iodine – For dark wood finishes, you can also use iodine to fix the scratches. You can find antiseptic iodine solutions at the nearest pharmacy. Dip a cotton swab in the solution and apply just a couple of drops to the scratch. Use a dry cloth to immediately wipe away excess liquid. Otherwise, you may risk staining the surrounding wood.
  1. Crayon – At a glance, crayon seems like a ridiculous choice for fixing scratched furniture. However, it works wonders as a temporary solution. Get a pack of crayons and pick one that closely matches the color of the furniture. Rub that crayon on the scratched wood and use your fingers to blend it in.

Make sure to use wax crayons instead of other types of brittle crayons. While this method doesn’t get rid of the scratch, it hides it really well. You can use the trick to hide scratches before guests arrive and fix them later on. You can also use the same method for other products with wax. For instance, you can use the same trick with eyeliner pencils.

  1. Pumice and mineral oil – The combination of pumice and mineral oil also works well for removing scratches from wood furniture. Get the pumice in powder form so that you can make a paste with the mineral oil. After you mix them up in equal proportions and create a paste, use extra-fine steel wool to rub the paste into the scratched part of the table, couch, or other pieces of furniture.

With extra-fine steel wool, you don’t risk damaging the furniture while working in the paste. Once the paste has been worked in, use a damp paper towel to wipe off excess paste. Finally, buff off the furniture with a dry paper towel.

  1. Tea – Coffee isn’t the only beverage that can remove furniture scratches. If you prefer to drink tea, you can get a used tea bag to remove the scratches on the wood furniture. A used tea bag should be more than enough for staining minor scratches. Just put the used tea bag on the scratched area and gently press it to stain the scratches. Don’t allow the bag to sit there for too long. Otherwise, the moisture from the tea bag may seep into the wood and warp it.
  1. Petroleum jelly – Petroleum jelly can protect your skin and also remove scratches from your wood furniture. If you have a tub of Vaseline lying around at home, you can smear it over the scratch and leave it for several hours. The petroleum jelly makes the surrounding wood puff up and fill up those scratches. After you’re satisfied with the result, wipe it away and polish the renewed surface.
  1. Oil and vinegar – Get around half a cup of white or apple cider vinegar and mix it with equal parts of neutral cooking oil. Something cheap like canola oil will get the job done. Use the mixture to polish the cracks and scratches on the wood with a microfiber cloth. Rub it vigorously till the scratch disappears. Similar to Vaseline, the oil makes the exposed wood swell up and fill in the scratches while the vinegar helps to stain it. The same trick works when you use olive oil with lemon juice.


You can try all the above-mentioned methods to fix your furniture in the comfort of your home. These fixes can save you money and fix those little scratches without a lot of effort. However, for major repairs, it’s best to search for “furniture repair near me” and hire qualified professionals for the fix.

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