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DIY Wood Scratch Remover

We’ve had our bedroom dressers and end tables for almost 11 years. They’ve been beaten up over the years, like most furniture. Scratches, dings and marks from who knows what. I’ve done a good job at covering up most of the damage with “stuff” but I know what’s hiding under my pile of books and it bothers me. This leaves me with a few choices.

I deal with it; just pretend the marks aren’t there.

Try to sand and refinish the wood on my own.

Sell the furniture and get something new.

Hire someone to sand and refinish the wood.

Try to fix some of the damage on my own…somehow.

Options 1-4 are not possible. Okay, they might be possible but I’m not going to buy new furniture when I like mine just fine. As much as I’d love to have them professionally refinished…I don’t want more contractors and workers in my house. I’ve been going through that for a year and I’m done with it. So this leaves me with trying to fix some of the damage on my own.

How the heck will I do this?

Let me tell you and its simple.

¼ cup of vinegar

¾ cup of olive oil

Mix well. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and rub into your CLEAN dresser or wood to repair scratches. Rub very, very well and then rub with another clean rag to get anDIY Wood Scratch Removery olive oil residue off the wood. I recommend testing a spot first to make sure it does not discolor your wood –you don’t want to do more damage!

Note: This is messy. So be prepared to have some oil on your hands and all the objects and items off your wood dresser or stand before you begin.  I found that rubbing with the second clean rag helped to remove the extra oil and leaves the wood nice and shiny.

Does this work? Yes. It doesn’t remove every single mark but light scratches and water marks were gone. Better yet, they didn’t come back the next day.

I’ve also heard that Mayo (yes Mayo!) will help to remove water marks. I haven’t tried this but you can read the how-to from Centsational Girl and see her before and after photos for proof.

I know I’ve seen over the counter products and I’ve also seen other variations of this solution on Pinterest. Some use half vinegar and half olive oil – I went with less vinegar because of the smell and it worked fabulous. I know olive oil has worked wonders for me in the past for polishing stainless steel so I figured I’d up the ratio and it worked. Feel free to play with this yourself to see what works for you and of course, visit Pinterest for other ideas.

View my other DIY tips and tricks here.


  1. You’re right on the money Sommer, whenever possible a DIY solution is always best! Save money, get experience and have fun while at it. Whenever my furniture (including my pesky wooden floor!) get scratches or a few bruises I usually just sand them and apply varnish – they turn to brand new. It takes a bit longer and it’s harder but the results are more than worth it Sommer, you should try it next time on a smaller piece so you get the feel for it. If you’ve got any questions feel free to send me a message, when it comes to guides though SanderScore is the way to go. Thank you for the article and do give updates if you ever try sanding!


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