How to Remove Scratches on Interior Doors

Written by kristine tucker Google
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Whether you have children, pets or just a large amount of traffic in your home or business, scuff marks and scratches on wooden interior doors can be unsightly. Removing scratches and dirt that has permeated the surface of the door can be a simple task when a few basis guidelines are followed. Most wood interior doors are durable enough to withstand a small amount of chemical treatment and a little elbow grease. If your interior door has been freshly painted or stained, do not use any form of treatment until the surface area has cured.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Steel wool
  • Wood filler
  • Cotton swab
  • Wood stain
  • Soft rag

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  1. 1

    Apply wood filler to the scratched area of the interior door using a cotton swab or the tip of your finger. Spread the filler evenly overly the scratch mark and wipe away any excess filler. Allow wood filler to dry completely.

  2. 2

    Scrub the scratched area lightly with steel wool until all flaking varnished areas are smooth and the wood fill has a slightly roughened texture. According to, if bare wood is visible underneath the scratch, you will need to re-stain the wood. Select an oil-based stain that is a shade lighter than the wood finish of the interior door. Use a small amount of stain on a soft clean cloth and apply to the scratched area wiping away all excess stain with a dry rag. Allow stain to dry completely.

  3. 3

    Apply varnish or a finishing oil to the wooden door. According to, use a corner of a soft cloth, a small paintbrush or a clean cotton swab and apply a thin coat of a wipe-on oil finish like General Finishes Royal Finish or UGL Wipe On Tung Oil. Apply finish to the damaged area using several coats to hide the scratch. Allow dry time before applying each coat.

Tips and warnings

  • If the scratch is only surface deep and has not affected the stain or varnish, use a magic marker that is one shade lighter than the colour of the interior door. Carefully, colour over the scratch with the marker.
  • Avoid using steel wool on antique wooden interior doors. Avoid using stains and varnishes on antique wooden interior doors. Hire a professional to asses and repair the damage.

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