How to repair wood scratches on tables and floors easily

Have you found your formerly lovely looking dining table getting a little scratched and bumped, and want to try and

Have you found your formerly lovely looking dining table getting a little scratched and bumped, and want to try and restore it to its former glory without the use of harsh or expensive products? Well, here is a way you can cover up the scratches in no time at all, with two simple ingredients most people have in their kitchen cupboard.

This handy hint is one we love, and should help remove and cover up a majority of the scratches from everyday use or the unexpected.  

All you need is:

1/2 cup of vinegar

1/2 cup of olive oil

Mix together and rub into the surface. Dry and voila! Your table should be looking better in no time at all.

Do you have tables with scratches on them? Or perhaps you have a remedy or product you’d like to share with others?

  1. liz ballinger  

    does it work for dark wooden furniture!

  2. Pat Zammit  

    What about bamboo floors, mine are getting really worn in places

    • Larry Scholz  

      Floors require very hard finishes so they can be walked on. I would recommend a water based moisture cured polyurethane. I buy mine from Embeltons at Kedron in Brisbane.

  3. Marlene  

    You can still see the scratch marks – it just gives the table a better sheen – have tried it three/four times & still does not improve as it is shown in the above pictures. I used Olive oil & white vinegar!

    • carol  

      use walnuts to help disguise scratches (not the oil but a piece of the nut as it has the oil in it)

    • Deb Andrews  

      I have successfully used eucalyptus oil on a soft cloth for scratched furniture, and even my polished timber floorboards.

    • Larry Scholz  

      Try equal parts of olive or linseed oil, mineral turps, methylated spirit and white vinegar.
      Apply liberally and rub along the grain while wet with oooo steel wool or a green household scourer and dry with a clean rag. Leave rags unfolded to dry out when finished to prevent spontaneous combustion.

  4. Heather Oliver  

    I have also used a walnut split open and rubbed in covers many scratches and marks.

  5. Ann Hurford  

    My polished Tasmanian Blackwood table has an ice cubes stain – any suggestions please?

    • Donna  

      Try rubbing mayonaise into the spot. Leave for a while then rub off.

    • Jenny  

      Gently rub the marks with very fine steel wool then wipe with a furniture restoring oil (recommend Restor A Finish from Howard products)

  6. Lyn mcgowran  

    How oes one erase cigarette burns from coffee tables? Is e been left some beautiful tables but they are scarred with cigarette burns.

  7. Lindsay Gregory  

    As a furniture maker my business was built on dining tables and chairs and over 45 years of work I must admit a scratch is a scratch oil, vinegar, wax, and a truck of other products will not fix the scratch. The vinegar cleans the surface and the olive oil soaks into the grain and the colour is restored but the scratch remains. If the scratch is just done then only use finger nail polish and allow it to fill the scratch but not spill over the edges let dry and with a sharp razor blade scrape the finger nail polish flush to the surface of work surface floor board or dining top and then use it.
    You must remember everytime a person scratches or dents your furniture they are adding value to it .

  8. Kathleen Moore  

    I have a coffee table that has a heat stain on it where a warm plate was left on the table and the varnish has discoloured. Any suggestions? I’ve tried a wood repair oil but that didnt work.

    • Larry Scholz  

      Strip it off and refinish it.

  9. Larry Scholz  

    For many years I have used a mix I called Revive for cleaning up old polished timber and furniture. It is simply a mix of equal parts linseed oil, mineral turps, methylated spirits and white vinegar. It requires a good shake just before use. Apply liberally with a paint brush of suitable size to the surface and then rub along the grain with a pad of oooo steel wool, leave it for a few minutes and then dry off with a soft cloth in multiple directions and finish by rubbing along the grain. Be sure to dispose of rags in a way so as not to be a fire hazard. I usually unfold the rags and let them dry out and then throw them in the bin. They can also be submerged in a container of water.
    It is important to remember when working with sandpaper and clear finishes not to go in circular movements or across the grain of the timber. Care is also required when using orbital sanders as they sand across the grain and can leave horseshoe shaped scratches on the surface. Also other vegetable oils may be used instead of linseed oil, they just have to be drying oils otherwise they can become sticky.
    For newer and restored pieces of furniture I would use a furniture oil to keep up the polish, something like o’ cedar oil. There are a variety on the market. Don’t use anything containing silicone. If you are just wanting to hide a scratch on the surface try rubbing a raw walnut kernel along the scratch and the wipe clean with a clean cloth.
    If you have some furniture wax you can also use that but these may not be suitable if you want to refurbish a piece of furniture. If not removed completely they will make it difficult to finish over. In this seek some advice from a professional.

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