Scratch Out Scuffs

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

When wood begins to show time’s wear and tear, these simple tips utilize everyday items found around the house to smooth out unwanted marks

My fiance and I just returned from a trip back home to Cleveland, where we are originally from. We had all of our pre-wedding festivities there: bachelor and bachelorette parties, an engagement party and a bridal shower. It was so nice visiting with family and friends, celebrating our upcoming nuptials.

When we arrived back in Hawaii, we were greeted with a bevy of packages, filled with presents to help us get started on our new life together. We piled up pots and pans, mixers, utensils and the like on our coffee and dining tables before washing and putting them away.

After I started tackling the various presents, I noticed that while we were extra careful with the gifts themselves, we were not as careful with the wooden tables underneath. Several fresh scratches appeared where there were once smooth surfaces.

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My next project is fixing them. Luckily, the fix is easy using everyday items that we already have on-hand. If you have minor wooden scratches that need fixing, consider these options:

• Make coffee. Mix 1 tablespoon of instant coffee with a bit of hot water to make a thick paste. Apply the paste to the scratch, being careful not to get it on the un-scratched surface surrounding it. Wipe away the excess with a paper towel.

• Use lemons. Mix equal parts fresh lemon juice and vegetable oil. Apply liberally using a lint-free cloth until the scratch disappears.

• Go nuts. Shell a walnut and rub the meat into the scratch. The walnut oil should make the scratch virtually invisible. This also works with other nuts such as almonds, pecans or Brazil nuts.

• Tea up. Steep black tea in 2 tablespoons of hot water for two to three minutes (the darker the wood, the longer you should steep). Then, use a cotton swab to dab the tea onto the scratch, taking care not to get it on the surrounding surface. Use the clean side of the cotton swab to wipe up any excess that spills onto surrounding wood.

Remember to clean the surface thoroughly before using any of these methods. As with any solution, make sure to test a small, inconspicuous spot before proceeding. If you have a delicate or expensive piece, consult a professional first.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.