How to Easily Fix Scratches in Hardwoods and Furniture

February 17, 2022

Quick fix for nicks or scratches in wood floors and furniture.

If you have scratches in your cabinets, wood floors or furniture, this easy solution will make them disappear!

These are especially helpful if you have animals that like to scratch your wood furniture. Cat scratches on wood or marks from dog claws on the floors will vanish with this trick. :) 

Sometimes I hesitate to share these more basic "DIYs" or fixes, but then I do them in our home and am reminded that they are super helpful. 

So I'm sharing! :) 

This is a quick repair for anything wood in your home that has minor damage -- anywhere where the top finish or stain has nicked off. 

I miss the gorgeous floors in our old house so much!: 
Jacobean hardwood floors

They are white oak, finished on site hardwoods and they are gorgeous (STILL!). (The stain color is Jacobean by Minwax.)

And they have held up beautifully. You pay for that quality -- they are labor intensive to install, but so worth it! 

Compared to our current engineered flooring, those were pristine (and we lived with those for way longer).

We find a new scratch or nick in our engineered hardwoods often. It's not too bad...usually we don't even notice them until we're cleaning. 

It's when I'm vacuuming and trying to pick up what I think is dirt that I see them: 
small hardwood nicks and scratches

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We have a bunch of little divots in our dining room floor where our cat likes to knock stuff off the console. Good times. 

The other day I tried to vacuum up this floor damage for the 500th time, so I decided it was time to take care of these for good. 

If your furniture or floors have minor damage like this, there's no need to sand them down or refinish them. 

Fixing these little imperfections in your hardwood floors is super easy! 

There are a few ways to do this, and the most surprising is using a walnut. Walnuts have a natural brown pigment that covers the bare wood and blends in well.

I find the nut method works best on lighter to medium colored hardwoods, so instead I use these stain markers on our darker floors: 
Minwax ebony stain marker

They come in eight different wood finishes, from light to dark. 

We have both the dark walnut color and ebony stain marker, but the walnut was dried up. 

Because our floors have plenty of variation and darker spots, I knew the deeper ebony color would work great. 

It's literally a marker with stain inside...all you do is color over the exposed wood scratches or nicks: 
stain markers for wood damage

And then wipe it away with a rag or paper towel. 

I like to use a damp rag to make sure I get all of the excess stain around the scratch. 

I never took an after photo of that spot above, so I went back today to take it...but had a hard time finding where I filled in!: 
fixing hardwood damage with stain

This repair worked so well, I spent an hour sliding across our hardwoods finding new spots to fill.

Funny how as I went from room to room I could see where our cat likes to act up. 😂 

Our floors are engineered hardwood by Diamond Living, but unfortunately have been discontinued. 

This was especially great for the little scratches that occurred when some of our flooring was installed. 

They had a few bare spots along the edges: 
scratch along hardwood plank

It only takes a few seconds to fill them in and wipe up! 

Here's another gaggle of marks in the hardwoods before: 
filling in hardwood nicks

And after the stain filler/marker:
easy fix for hardwood scratches

The darker stain worked great because it looks like a natural spot in the wood. I'd recommend going darker than lighter if your wood is in between.

Next up, I tackled furniture! 

The vintage dresser in our bedroom was looking a little beat up. 

I don't notice the wear and tear day to day, but there were a TON of little marks all over:
repairing scratches on wood furniture

Because this wood finish has a lot of dark variation like our floors, I knew the dark stain would blend right in. 

I couldn't believe the difference!: 
stain marker on wood furniture

I carried the marker around the house looking for spots to fill, but couldn't find anymore damage unfortunately. ;) 

This stain marker will hide imperfections in your flooring, dressers, wood tabletops, cabinets, stairs and handrails. Anything with a wood finish! 

If you have deeper scratches in your wood that you'd like to fill as well as cover, try these wood fill blending pencils that comes in the same stain colors. 

This is such an easy fix and the stain touch ups will hold up for a long time. 

I didn't think the little spots on the floor bothered me much...until I covered them. Now it's so nice to not see those little spots that looked like crumbs on the floor!

Have you used these stain markers on your hardwoods or furniture?

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  1. Great post! I have found, after many years of wood scratch repair, that a sharpie works very well! I have both brown and black sharpies as well as a few stain markers like you used, and often just use the sharpies to fix marks on my furniture!

  2. Yep, use them on my espresso stained alder cabinets. Works great around the handles where little white marks show up from where fingernails bruise the finish. I usually go around every couple of months, or right before company shows up. I'll never have painted cabinets - this is so much easier than trying to repair paint chips. My stained cabinets have lasted 5 years beautifully.


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