Oops! How to Fix a Damaged Wooden Table Top

How To Fix Scratches on a Solid Wood Dining Table
The Tibet Almond stick is my favorite trick for repairing minor scratches on wooden table tops.

Handmade wooden tables are a treasure we all try to take good care of.  When you first get yours, you slowly run your hands over the beautiful, smooth finish and vow to never in a million years let it get damaged or scratched.  But alas… life happens.

Wooden dining tables are made to eat off.  Knives, forks, hot plates, serving dishes, wine glasses, wine– you know what I’m talking about.  One customer called in distress because her grand daughter got into her nail polish and spilled it all over the new table top. Oops.

Well, as a rule there’s no need to panic.  These things happen and they can be dealt with.  The first thing to do is determine what type of finish is on your table.  At Vermont Woods Studios we work with many different independent craftspeople throughout Vermont but their finishes all fall into these 3 categories:

  • Oil finishes
  • Lacquer finishes
  • Poly finishes

Each piece of furniture comes with information about the finish and what to do if it gets damaged.  My favorite trick though, and it works with all 3 of these finishes (for minor scratching) is the Tibet Almond Stick.  which you can buy for $5 at your local hardware store or Rockler.  You just open the little red tin can, peel off the wax paper and rub the oil-soaked felt tip of the stick along the scratch.  Voila!  It works for any type of wood, provided it’s not stained a dark color that’s very different from the real wood color.

Or if you happen to have a walnut handy, you could try rubbing that along the scratches.  Our friends at Apartment Therapy swear by walnut — a similar but more natural approach.

Stay tuned for tips on repairing more serious damage (like nail polish spills) to wooden furniture in future posts.  Have tricks of your own?  Share them with us on Facebook!



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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.