How to Repair Scratches on Oak Furniture

Updated February 21, 2017

Oak is a hard lumber commonly used in high-grade furniture because of its golden hue and black grain streaks. Oak furniture is often finished with oil to keep the wood moisturised or a rubbed-on polyurethane to protect the surface from discolouration. If you scratched your oak furniture, you can quickly restore it and leave it looking as good as new.

Clean the dirt and oil from the scratch with a metal scratch awl or a pen knife. Clean the scratch with the grain if possible and not against it. This will help preserve the natural lines of the oak.

Apply a small amount of oak stain into the scratch and on the surface area around the crack. Allow the stain time to dry. This will restore the colour to the bare oak wood and help it blend in with the surrounding surface area. It is OK if the scratch does not blend perfectly as the surface colour of oak is never uniform.

Place a small amount of furniture wax onto a cotton rag and wipe it over the scratch. The wax will build up in the scratch and blend the surface of the scratch with the surface area around the scratch. If your oak furniture is covered with polyurethane, skip this step.

Fill the scratch with untinted polyurethane. Use a toothpick as an applicator. Dip the toothpick into the polyurethane and then apply the liquid to the scratch until you build the polyurethane up to the same level as the original polyurethane on the furniture.

Buff the area over the scratch and around it with #0000 steel wool, clean the surface with naphtha and apply a small amount of furniture wax to the surface to blend everything in.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal scratch awl or open knife
  • Furniture wax
  • Rags
  • Toothpicks
  • Polyurethane
  • #0000 steel wool
  • naphtha
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