Home Maintenance and Repair- Caring for Your Wood

DIY Kits
by DIY Kits
1 Material
2 Hours

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to share with you the instructions for an easy way to repair, and care for, your wood furniture. Does your wooden table have a nick or scratch? Is your chair leg wobbly? I can't wait to show you how you can use this wood repair and care kit to make repairs to the most common wood damage in your home. I know my wood furniture is always getting little dings and scratches, and it’s lovely to have a kit ready to go to make everything look like new.

This kit comes with everything you need for many projects, but today I’m going to show you how to repair light scratches, deep gauges, chipped veneer and loose legs (also known as stripped holes).

In this kit you will find terry cloth sponges, Elmer's wood glue, Elmer's wood filler, a set of wood repair markers and crayons, disposable putty knives, and bamboo toothpicks.

The First Repair: Light Scratches I think light scratches from everyday use is the most common wood furniture damage, but it’s also the easiest problem to fix. For this repair I used the terry cloth sponges and wood markers.

The first thing I did was make sure that the wood surface was clean by wiping it with the sponge. Then I got to work. I started with a marker color much lighter than the wood and slowly worked my way darker. I recommend doing this, because sometimes the marker looks different on the wood. It's also a safer option; you can always go darker, but you can never go lighter. My console table has very visible short grain lines, so I made sure to mimic the grain by making short quick lines. It took a bunch of layers to get the exact look of my wood. I also made sure to wipe away the excess marker with my sponge .

And look at the difference the markers make! My husband was so surprised to come home and see all the scratches gone.

The Second Repair: Deep Gouges We went over to my friend's house to repair some of their wood furniture, too. Here you can see a gouge on the edge of their side board that was caused by something hard hitting the wood. For this repair, I used the wood filler, the putty knives, the markers, and a sponge.

The first thing I did was cut open my wood filler. There are very clear instructions on the back of the tube letting you know how you should cut the top off. The reason we picked this wood filler is because it’s very versatile, easy to use, dries quickly and it’s stainable, so you can use it on any color wood from a pine to an ebony. Next, I squeezed out a dollop of the filler. You’ll have to eye-it to see how much you need to fill in your gouge. Then, using the disposable putty knife and my finger, I shaped the filler until I thought it was right. The filler was much less sticky and easier to work with than I thought it would be. I let the filler dry for two hours, and then it was ready to be stained. I didn’t need to sand the filler, but Elmer's wood filler can be sanded once it's dry.

Then I matched the stain using my markers. You can’t even tell that there was ever any damage here!

The Third Repair: Chipped Veneer Chipped veneer is also a very common problem with pieces that see regular use. If you watch the video below, I explain a way to use the items in the kit to repair veneer that is peeling up. 

The first thing I did was put down a very thin layer of the wood filler, because the chips are not very deep at all. After it dried for two hours, I used one of the crayons to fill it in a little more. The waxy crayons are really great for filling in light damage like this. When I applied the crayon, it looked lighter than its actual color. That's okay! The second step of using a crayon is to rub it in. This warms up the crayon wax and blends the color in. Next, I used the markers to match the color. Because the veneer did not have strong grain marks on this table, I used the markers to color the small chips, just like one might on a color-by-number book. I started with a color lighter than I thought I needed and built up the colors in layers wiping the excess marker off after every layer.

Take a look at that! You can’t even see where the damage was!

The Fourth Repair: A loose Leg  This creative toothpick trick can be used in so many scenarios. I’ve personally used it to strengthen a loose peg in a table, repair a loose door by filling the screw holes in the hinges, and repair a wobbly leg on an IKEA Lack side table (which is what I'm going to show you).All I used for this repair was the toothpicks, the wood glue and scissors (the one item I hope you have at home).

I added the wood glue onto the edge of my toothpicks and tucked them into the side of the stripped hole. This project is literally adding wood to a hole that has been stripped down. I let the toothpicks dry for 20 minutes, snipped off the ends that were sticking out, screwed in the leg, and my wobbly leg was fixed. In the video I explain a more permanent way to use this trick.

I'd love to hear what you use these materials for and what pieces of furniture you fix with them! Comment below or start your own discussion showing off your piece of work.

Also, you may have noticed that our box, stickers, and cards feel a little different than other boxes and stickers you are used to. That’s because here at Hometalk we are committed to the environment. Everything is made from recycled materials, is printed with vegetable based dyes and is biodegradable. The box is even compostable, all you need to do is peel off the shipping label to add it to your compost. I’m going to use my box as a planter.

Unfortunately, we no longer offer this kit for purchase, but we hope you were inspired by this tutorial to find easy ways to repair your furniture!

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 13 questions
  • Devon Thibeault Devon Thibeault on Mar 29, 2017
    Are you sure those may not be new scratches? I have used it on my own furniture at least 10-15 years ago and have never retouched.

  • Know Know on Jun 03, 2019

    Great tips. I have a question about how to fix a ring left on the top of my beautiful wood and varnished dresser. This happened when someone left a bottle of room fragrance oil sitting on top of the dresser. The oil ate through the varnish. Is there a way to fix this without re-finishing the entire top?

  • Mary Jo Mary Jo on Oct 06, 2020

    My newly adopted Great Pyreneese ‘ate’ large chunks out of my banister. Aaaaaa! I did everything wrong to repair it. After watching what you did, I’m going to sand it all down and re-do the mess. Do you make house calls to Southern Calif? I have a really nice guest room, private bath...I really need help.🤪 Oh, also my mother-in-laws beautiful desk was close to a window that was left open when we were out of town (it rained steadily for the week we were gone) and the top veneer was badly damaged. I’m in need of full time restoration, obviously. Duh.

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  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Sep 05, 2019

    This trick is one my dad used when I was growing up.. He passed in 1989 at the age of 85.. Growing up o n the plains of S D. you figured out our do without.. ALSO WORKS for SCREW HOLES that have become to loose..

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Sep 05, 2019

    WOODEN MATCHES work great for screw holes.. same idea..