FIXING WOOD BLEMISHES
SCRATCHES, DENTS, AND GOUGES
When we bought our house, the kitchen had nice, but faded maple kitchen cabinets. Since maple is a wood that is susceptible to dents and scratches, they had both and showed wear from use. We used the methods described below to bring them back to life without a complete refinishing.
These are two easy repairs for small scratches. Olde English has a liquid furniture polish that practically makes scratches invisible. It is available in light and dark color for corresponding light and dark woods. I keep a bottle of each at my home.
Use a cloth or paper towel to dab on and rub in several drops of this product as needed. Be sure to wear rubber or latex gloves when you handle this product because it will stain your hands. It can put spots on wood floors and carpet to if mishandled. Olde English will not stain anything once it has dried on the scratch.
Color crayon type touch up sticks are also available to rub on scratches.
Sometimes a fix for a dent in the wood that has compressed the wood down, but not scratched or gouged it, can be done with a clothes iron. The steam in the iron can moisturize the wood fibers and cause them to swell back to their original shape.
Put a moist paper towel or a moist cloth over the dent. Put a hot iron on the cloth or paper towel for a few seconds until steam is created from the moisture in the cloth or paper towel. Take the iron off as the steam diminishes. You are likely to dry out the moisture. Take care not to burn the area. You can repeat this until the wood expands.
Deep Scratches take more work and some ingenuity in refinishing. Use a putty knife to apply a small amount of wood putty into the scratch. Wood putty for repairs comes in small cans at your home improvement store. You may check to see if there is a matching color there, or blend a new finish to match the old one after you have allowed the putty to dry and sanded it smooth.