Fix the Finish

We’ve all cringed when we lift our glass off the table and find a white ring, hit the chair on the edge of a table, or dropped something that leaves a scratch. Dings and scratches on furniture are nearly unavoidable, but most can be repaired! Here are some tips to help you restore your furniture.

  • Before starting on any repairs, clean your furniture well with a solution of dish washing liquid soap or an oil soap and water. This will help remove all surface wax, grease, oil, or polish.
  • After cleaning your furniture, start on the repairs in this order: white water rings, minor surface scratches, deep scratches, and then dings and nicks.
  • White rings happen when water vapor penetrates into the finish of your furniture. They can be removed by wiping them down gently with a cloth that’s barely dampened with denatured alcohol. Do not use too much alcohol on your cloth because this can dull the sheen on your finish.
  • If your sheen has dulled, use an extra fine 000 steel wool and paste wax to restore the finish if it’s a satin finish. For a gloss finish, use auto polishing compound and apply it with a cloth. Blend in your finishes by going over both the damaged area and the surrounding surface area.
  • If you have a chip in a clear finish, but the wood underneath hasn’t been damaged, fill the ding with a few drops of clear nail polish and let it dry. Follow up by sanding the surface flush with a 600-grit sandpaper.
  • Stores now sell felt tip touch-up markers in different wood tones to match the finish of your furniture. Use these markers to repair large scratches or edges where the stain has been scuffed or just worn away. Only apply the markers to the damaged area.