Article - Quick Fixes For Wood Surfaces

You love your coffee table, but what do you do about all the wear and tear it's beginning to show? Here are some simple remedies if the damage is only skin deep.

Scratches
Several companies produce wood polishes that blend in surface scratches and missing stain. These are made in different shades to match most common shades of wood. Select one that closely matches your piece's finish and apply the wood polish to blend in any surface damage.

If you prefer homemade recipes, these easy to find and use materials can also be used to treat light scratches and discolorations:

Crayons are one of the easiest ways to fill in scratches. Find the color that matches your finish most closely. Rub into the scratch, then smooth with a soft cloth. Crayons are also great on painted finishes.  You can also use walnuts or Brazil nuts to fill in scratches in light wood. Be sure to cut them first to release the oil. Rub into the scratch and smooth.

If you have iodine in your medicine cabinet, you can use that to hide surface scratches on darker wood though you may have to apply more than one coat to get the right shade. Use Q-tips to gently rub into the scratch and then let it dry.

Water Ring Stains
Water ring stains seem very unsightly. Fortunately you can remove them quite easily.

Place a thick piece of cloth over the water ring and press it with a warm iron. Rub the warm iron over the cloth-covered water ring until it disappears. Take care not to go beyond the cloth or you'll end up with a singed surface!

Use lemon oil or orange oil for stubborn water rings. Let the oil set on the water ring overnight, or at least a few hours. Wipe off excess oil. Even if it doesn't disappear completely the stain will be less apparent.

An equal mixture of white toothpaste and mayonnaise is also effective. Apply, then wipe off with a soft cloth. You may have to rub it for a little while for the ring to lighten considerably. Afterwards, rub the area with orange oil or lemon oil to make it go away completely.
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