How to Repair Furniture: Our Guide

Repairing Furniture

So your favorite piece of furniture has seen better days. Maybe it needs a touch-up and some refinishing. Maybe there are deep scratches, or a missing leg. DIY furniture repair can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, there are plenty of home improvement resources available online. By the end of this post, we hope you’ll be better prepared to give your old pieces the furniture makeover they deserve.

Polishing Furniture

Repairing Scratched Furniture

Nothing puts a damper on quality woodworking like gouges and scratches. As furniture lovers, it’s a sad sight to see a beautiful lacquer go to waste. If the scratch is minor, you can use a lower grit sandpaper to gently rub over the affected area. Avoid using any heavy duty sanders as they can cause more damage to a finish.

Sanding Furniture

For some minor scratches and scuffs, a furniture crayon can get the job done. You use these as, well, a crayon. Just “color” over the scratched area like you would with a standard wax crayon. It’s worth noting that this fix is more temporary than some of the others we’ll talk about. However, it gets the job done. It’s best to use for light surface scratches, and make sure that you use the proper color (darker crayons for dark wood, light crayons for light material, etc.). For more on how to use furniture crayons to their full potential, check out our guide here!

Advanced Furniture Scratch Repair

One common technique for dealing scratches is to use a cotton swab with iodine to wipe down the scratch. You’ll want to immediately wipe over the spot with a paper towel, to prevent the iodine from staining the rest of your wood grain. However, some damage to wooden furniture will require more attention. 

A person using a walnut to buff out scratched furniture.

One of the most entertaining ways we’ve seen folks repair their piece is with a walnut or pecan. Yes, it sounds nuts. But since the nut is at the right hardness and filled with the right oil, a gentle rub can be enough to fix scratches. We wouldn’t recommend eating them afterwards, but who are we to judge?

Regardless of which of these techniques you choose, one thing is sure- damaged wood surfaces aren’t a death sentence for your favorite furniture! All of the materials you need to repair scratches can be found online, at hardware stores, or sometimes growing on trees if you’re feeling adventurous. In fact, there are so many options, we can’t list all of them. 

Time for Putty!

If you need to repair furniture with deeper crevices such as deep dents or nail holes, furniture putty is the way to go! This material is usually a combination of paste and wood shavings, so don’t worry about it harming your piece. Once you’ve sealed the hole, you’ll want to scrape over the damaged area with a putty knife, utility knife or dull razor blade to smooth things out. 

Wood Putty vs. Wood Filler

Don’t confuse wood putty with wood filler. You won’t want to use most wood fillers for outdoor furniture, since outdoor furniture can expand and contract when exposed to the elements. This small change can cause the filler to crack, damaging your furniture, and leaving you back at square one! All of these products are readily available online, from online furniture stores like EuroLuxHome.com or places like Home Depot.¬†

Making Your Wood Furniture Shine

Sometimes, all furniture needs is a little bit of TLC to make it shine. Just because a piece doesn’t have dents or a missing leg doesn’t mean it can’t be improved! Anyone can purchase a quality furniture polish from their local hardware store. But if you’re in a hurry, you can do it with normal household products too. 3 tablespoons of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a small spray bottle is all you’ll need. Mix the oil and vinegar, and then spray a few sprits on your furniture. You’ll want to wipe down your tabletop quickly with a dry cloth afterward, to prevent it from smelling. This is something of a life hack, and is a great way to give your piece a new shine in a pinch.

Putting Old Furniture Back Together

Some pieces of wood furniture are irreplaceable. At EuroLux, we’ve given countless antique furniture pieces a new lease on life. The right knowledge and materials, and a little bit dedication is all you’ll need. It’s worth noting that significant damage is best fixed by a professional or someone with some experience. Larger pieces like sideboards and dressers can be difficult for untrained hands. 

However, if you just need to put a leg back on a chair, you’ve come to the right place! To put your favorite piece back together again, simply apply superglue or epoxy resin to the affected area and stick it back together again! Try to lather it up on the inside of the broken area so the material doesn’t seep out. Some of the methods mentioned above for repairing wood scratches can be used to cover the surrounding wood and make the piece look like it never broke to begin with!¬†Extensive damage can make it a good idea to contact a professional. To learn when it’s best to contact a furniture pro, check out our post about the subject.

We hope this post has been useful to you in your quest to repair furniture. At EuroLux, we’ve been collecting and repairing furniture for years. You can check out our selection of high-quality antique and modern furniture at EuroLuxHome.com