Breaking News

Repairing Furniture – Advice From a Builder

Repairing Furniture – Advice From a Builder

Fixing dents and scratches in timber furniture
Most minor damage to stained, varnished or waxed timber furniture can be easily repaired. If you’re feeling a bit nervous, best to test your resuscitation techniques on a part of the furniture that’s not in public view. Here is a range of techniques to try.

Scuffs and scratches
Often minor scuffs and small scratches will disappear with the application of a fresh coat of furniture wax. A good-quality polish will contain a blend of beeswax, carnauba wax, oils and gum turpentine. Apply the wax with a very fine steel wool in all circular actions and then buff with a soft cloth in the direction of this wood grain.

Light-coloured scratches on darker stained furniture can be disguised by dabbing on a little black coffee or rubbing in some matching coloured shoe polish. Build up the colour with several applications rather than trying to nail it first time.

Scratch Fix pens are useful. They come in five common timber colours and look like a regular felt tip marker but actually contain wood stain. Just choose the right shade and colour in the scratches, wiping off any excess Straight away.

Another great solution for slightly more serious dings and gouges are beeswax putty sticks. They’re available in a range of shades to suit most timber colours either individually or as a set to add to your repair kit. To use one, heat a putty knife by dipping it in boiling water and then use the heated blade to scrape off a small section of the stick and wipe it into the damage. As the wax hardens again, scrape off any excess with the edge of a plastic scraper and then apply some furniture wax over the repair.

Dents and depressions in timber
Small dents and depressions can be teamed out if the timber fibres haven’t been torn. Make a number of small pin holes in the dent, put a drop of water in the indentation and allow it to soak in, cover it with a cloth and apply heat using an iron. The moisture will swell the timber in the dent, filling it out be careful, as this excess heat may affect some timber finishes.

Major dings and dents in timber
Depending on the type of finish and texture of your timber, it’s possible to fill deep dents with a mixture of two-part polyester filler (builder’s bog), mixed with stain or oxide to match the surrounding timber. Make sure you test the colour on a less noticeable patch first!

Build up of dirt on timber
When an old piece of furniture is just looking dull or grotty, an application of orange oil will not only remove years of built-up grime but nourish the timber and leave the piece looking and smelling fresh.

All sorts of marks and scratches can be removed with an antique. cleaning blend such as Rotheraines Reviver, which cleans the surface and restores the old finish in one step. Or you can make your own: one part vinegar, one part methylated spirits, one part gum turpentine and a dash of boiled linseed oil. This concoction is flammable, so you should store it in a safe place. Shake before and during use. The blend of mild acid and solvents dissolve the damaged layers of old finishes and rejuvenate surfaces ready for a fresh coat of polish.