My partner and I recently received a really, really nice Klaussner dining set – a table, a matching buffet/hutch, and six chairs. Each piece in the set had some minor damage in the form of scratches and gouges. Since it was such a nice table, I wanted to restore it to its original glory. Is complete scratch removal possible? No — not without refinishing the table. I’m too lazy and incompetent for that. But it is possible to significantly reduce the appearance of damage, so I gave scratch removal a try.
Today I’ll share how I undertook scratch removal on the main table surface. Here’s a before picture:
By the way — I found an awesome series of YouTube videos about furniture repair. The host, clearly a professional, uses tools and (presumably expensive) supplies that I couldn’t hope to find at Home Depot even if I wanted to spend the money to acquire them. Thus these videos were extremely interesting but not very useful. I needed to do my scratch removal ‘on the cheap’.
Scratch Removal Supplies
I purchased the following scratch removal products (excluding the utility knife set which I already owned) for about $31 including taxes:
- Wood putty sticks (three colours)
- Trade Secret scratch removal liquid
- Trade Secret furniture cleaner (no, this isn’t a sponsored post. But if they wanted to send me some products to test, I’d be happy to)
- Varathane wood finish in a spray can (semi-gloss)
The only supplies I didn’t buy were: (1) shop towels (I used an entire roll of Scott’s shop towels) and (2) the utility knife set pictured above. For superficial, non-filler repairs you don’t need a utility knife. In lieu of disposable shop towels you could use any soft cloth – but the scratch removal liquid will probably stain your cloths so be forewarned. Paper towel might be OK too, but it’s not as effective for buffing.
I should note that I didn’t use the putty sticks for this project (the table top). They were effective on other parts of the dining set for scratch removal. I hope to write about those repairs (and the application of putty) in the future.
Prep the Surface for Scratch Removal
To start, I cleaned the table with Trade Secrets furniture cleaner. You might be amazed by how a good cleaning can aid your scratch removal efforts. It also removes dust and old polishes or waxes.
Next, I used my small utility knife to remove lose fibres from the large gouges.
Scratch Removal Stage 1
I applied the Trade Secrets scratch removal liquid.
At first, I applied the liquid with a cloth as the instructions said. I didn’t notice any significant improvement.Then I ignored the instructions and poured the scratch removal liquid directly on the scratches (above picture). Where long, thin scratches existed, I only used a cloth to “push around” the liquid and ensure each scratch was fully covered. I left the liquid for a few minutes and then removed it with a shop cloth. The improvement was significant.
I repeated this process a few times and increasingly focused on smaller scratches.
Scratch Removal Stage 2
I re-cleaned the table (using the Trade Secrets cleaner) to ensure the scratch removal liquid was cleared and that there was no debris on the table. This is very important for a clean finish, since Stage 2 involves spray paint.
I think that the table’s original finish was high gloss. Based on this, I purchased a semi-gloss Varathane. Why? I figured it might reduce the appearance of scratches. In retrospect, I think this was a good idea.
I sprayed light layers of Varathane wood finish on the table. I started by lightly spraying the major gouges a couple times. Then I sprayed a coat over the whole table. I waited an hour and sprayed another light coat. The next day I sprayed a final light coat. I have no idea if I sprayed too many or too few times.
Here’s an after picture:
The remnants of some gouges and scratches are still visible. Nevertheless, I think the table looks a lot nicer. I still might apply some more scratch removal liquid on the remaining gouges to see if I can lessen their appearance even more – although I think I’ll wait until the whole dining set is in place. That way I can focus on improving the most visible areas.
In the near future, I plan to write another post about the remainder of my work on this dining set. Exciting spoiler alert: it’ll include upholstery cleaning.