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How To Fix Deep Scratches In A Wood Table?

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Tables are ever-present furniture in homes, offices, and more, with most places featuring more than a single table.

The wooden table is arguably the most popular type because of its versatility and weight‌. Unfortunately, while wooden tables continue to provide value, they are susceptible to scratches.

Tables see a lot of activities, and as such, it is easy to find a lot of scratches on them after a long time.

Some of those scratches are light and can be fixed without stress; others are deep scratches requiring a lot of effort. Deep scratches on tables are annoying, especially for tables with ornamental value.

Often when deep scratches occur on tables, people do not know how to fix them. As a result, many people continue to use the tables and accumulate more deep scratches till it looks so horrible they have to dump the table.

However, it doesn’t have to get to that level since anybody with a little guidance can repair those deep scratches and get the table looking new again.

Luckily, there are several methods you can use to repair the scratches so people can select the most suitable method for them. This piece discusses deep scratches on tables and ways to remove them.

How To Fix Deep Scratches In Wood Table?

How To Fix Deep Scratches In Wood Table?

As mentioned earlier, deep scratches are a menace, but they don’t have to be, since you can fix them.

Scratches appear when the top layer and the finish of the wood are scrapped, making the scratch highly visible. Repairing the scratch involves filling the hole or blending it with the finish, so it is not easily noticeable.

Here is a collection of different ways to achieve your aim, including straightforward steps to follow:

1. Latex Wood Filler

Latex Wood Filler

Latex wood filler is a great way to cover deep gouges on a wooden table. For this method, you’ll need a latex wood filler that matches the color of the wood finish and a rubber putty knife.

Use the rubber putty knife to fetch the filler and put it into the hole. Next, turn the rubber knife horizontally to press the wood filler down and level it. Please keep spreading the wood filler inside the gouge till it is filled up.

The rubber knife ensures more scratches do not occur while applying wood filler. You can get the matching wood filler from local home improvement stores near you.

Before the wood filler dries completely, use the rubber knife held at 45 degrees angle against the surface to scrape excess filler. Continue to drag the knife lightly across the surface till you’ve removed most of the excess wood filler.

By now, you can allow the filler to dry, which can take between 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on certain factors.

Use fine sandpaper like a 180-grit or 220-grit to go over the surface of the filler. Maintain extra care so you don’t scratch the wood.

First, sand the filler area by going back and forth along the wood grain to avoid causing any damage. You can then use a slightly damp tack cloth to swipe the surface of any dust particles.

Finish by applying polyurethane to the wood filler. Finally, use a paintbrush or rag to dap the finish and apply it to the area.

2. Crayon


Cryon from your child’s coloring box can do wonders to deep scratches on wooden tables. The good thing about using crayons, besides their accessibility, is the variety of colors available.

You can match the color of the Table’s finish by selecting the same crayon color. Then, depending on the size, you only need a small portion to cover the scratches.

Take the matching crayon and rub it into the gouge consistently till it fills up the hole. Continue the back-and-forth movement over the scratch till it is obviously above the wood surface.

It is better to scrape excess than to have unfilled scratches. Scrape excess crayons with a rubber putty knife, the edge of a credit card, or any object with a complex yet smooth edge that will not leave scratches.

Apply a suitable wood polish to a brush or clean rag so it is damp but not dripping, and then wipe the crayon area.

Ensure to wipe across the grain for better results. Polishes give immediate results, so you may need to reply if it doesn’t shine after wiping the surface with the cloth.

3. Use Stain Markers

Use Stain Markers

Stain markers are similar to crayons in that they leave sticky particles behind.

These particles will fill up the gouge when applied correctly. So first, buy a stain marker from a home improvement store near you, ensuring it is the same color as your wood finish.

Clean the deep scratch by blowing off any dirt or particle before rubbing the stain marker in a back-and-forth movement to deposit some of it. Next, blend the marker in by gently running your fingers over it.

Go over all the surfaces and pay attention to the edges to prevent pulling them off. Finally, you’ll remove excess stain markers from the table by going over the surface with your fingers. The aim is to hide the crack by blending it well.

Use a dry rag to wipe off excess stain markers on the surface, including those pushed past the crack by your fingers. Ensure to wipe the excess parts off before it dries and becomes harder to remove.

However, if it starts to dry up before the excess can go off, use mineral oil to dampen a clean cloth and wipe the filler surface to remove the excess.

Do not remove too many markers and leave a dent in the area. Using the edge of credit cards is also a great way to wipe excess stain markers.

Allow the filler to dry for about 45 minutes without disturbance, and then observe the area to see if there are any dents.

Reply stain marker if dents appear. Naturally, stain markers have some shine, but you can polish the surface if it does not match the shine of the other parts of the table surface.

Next, damp a rag with the polish of your choice and wipe the filler area with it.

4. Wax/Chalk Paint

Wax/Chalk Paint

Wax or chalk paint is water-based with wide versatility, as you can apply it on a wide variety of surfaces. You can also use it to repair deep scratches on wood tables. Chalk paint will require a sealant to prevent it from breaking off.

Before using chalk paint, you’ll need to sand the scratch area with fine sandpaper, ideally 180-grit or higher.

Go over the area several times, ensuring to sand along the grain. Next, use a damp rag to wipe the area to remove dust and wood particles. Next, get a lacquer brush pen with a similar color to the bottom of the scratch from local home improvement stores.

Line the bottom of the scratch with the lacquer brush pen to prevent the wax paint from drying and also provide some added color to the paint.

Find a matching chalk paint or mix a few to get the right color. Before making the entire mixture, use a small test surface to see the color combinations.

Aside from wax paint, you can also use oil-based acrylic paint for this same operation. Use a palette knife to spread the paint into the crack, ensuring the paint goes inside and not on the surface.

Put the paint till the scratch is filled, and then use the 180-grit sandpaper or higher to sand the top of the paint. Sand before the paint dries, and ensure you’re not sanding the table surface but the top of the paint.

Continue to adjust the color of the paint till it matches the top of the wood. Match the paint to the lightest color on the wood if there is more than one shade.

Chalk paint will flake without a sealant, so choose an appropriate sealant. Lacquer sealant is ideal, as you do not need to wait for the paint to dry before applying it.

Hold the nozzle about 7 to 9 inches away from one end of the scratch, and then spray steadily and slowly till you’ve covered the paint. You can then leave the paint to dry for about 24 hours without disturbance.

5. Shoe Polish

Shoe Polish

Shoe polish is a more temporary fix than most methods on this list. You can use shoe polish to cover scratches on wood.

Get shoe polish that matches the wood finish color, and then use the polish to fill up the crack. Finally, you can use a small putty knife to apply the polish to the crack.

Continue the application till the crack is filled, and then use the putty knife to lightly go over the top so you can remove excess polish. The method may not be suited for significant scratches.

6. Walnut


Walnut has an oily but similar color to finished hardwood, making it perfect for repairing scratches. However, the scratch depth walnut can repair limited. Break the walnut and rub it into the scratch consistently till the oil stains the scratch and fills the hole.

How to Protect Wooden Table from Scratches?

How to Protect Wooden Table from Scratches?

Scratches make the table unsightly and damage the table surface. After repairing all the deep scratches, following some guidelines is best to prevent further recurrence.

  • Use placement mats: one of the biggest causes of scratches on table items dragged across the table surface—items like pots, laptops, and more.

Using placement mats under these items will prevent friction that leaves drag marks on the table. You can also cover the entire table surface to protect it from scratches, but this is not always possible for all tables.

  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight: Heat dries the wood and makes it easy to crack. Keeping it away from direct sunlight will help regulate its temperature and prevent dryness.
  • Clean with a soft, damp rag: Using dry clothes can leave drag marks of varying intensities on the table. Choosing soft rags and ensuring it is damp before using them to clean the table is a great way to prevent scratches.
  • Avoid build-up of heavy dirt and grime: When dirt and grime build up heavily on the table, you’re forced to use extreme force when cleaning to remove the dirt. Regular cleaning will ensure you can remove all the dirt with a few gentle wipes.

Extra Tips For You

  • Some scratches are not as deep as it looks, especially when there is a sealant on top.
  • Sometimes only the sealant is affected, so you want to check the crack well. If it is only a tiny scratch, you can use stain markers to cover it.
  • Avoid coarse sandpapers when sanding to repair cracks, as they can create new scratches and further damage the table.
  • Do not blow dust particles from sanded wood surfaces as you may push the particles farther into the crack. Instead, use a damp rag or a shop vacuum to remove the dust.


No one likes to see scratches on their tables, let alone deep scratches, but over time, these pieces of furniture get scratches on different parts of their surfaces. Repairing the scratches is easy with suitable material.

Luckily, there are several home remedies to fix even deep scratches. You may not even need to spend a dime on any material to fix deep scratches on tables.

Preventing these scratches is also great for ensuring longevity. After repairing your table, the next step is to protect the table from scratches of any kind.