First Aid For Wood Furniture

Tips for repairing minor defects in wood around your home.

touch up with Minwax stain marker


First Aid For Wood Furniture

Tips for repairing minor defects in wood around your home.

First Aid for Wood Furniture

Dark rings and spots:

Bleach out old moisture stains with chlorine bleach. Sponge bleach over entire surface around the stain, wait 5 to 10 minutes, wipe dry, then apply bleach to just the stain itself. The spot will fade as the bleach dries. Repeat as necessary.

Paint in pores:

Apply fresh paint stripper, give it time to work, then use a nylon scrub brush to get paint up and out. This process may have to be repeated several times.

Cigarette burns:

Scrape away blackened area with steel wool, razor or knife. Shallow burns will fill in while finishing. For deeper burns, fill with a mixture of wood glue and sanding dust. Put the mixture in, let cure, then smooth with a razor blade.


Dents are the result of wood fibers being crushed and compressed. To raise a dent, simply swell the fibers back up with moisture in the form of steam. Place a damp cloth over the dent and hold a medium-hot iron on it. Check progress frequently, and be careful not to damage your finish!

Loose veneer:

To melt old glue under loose veneer, place several layers of paper between the veneer and warm iron. When veneer begins to stick, apply pressure until glue dries. If no sticking occurs, regluing is needed. For a good bond, clean away any dirt and old glue before applying new.

Warped wood:

Wood warps when moisture loss on one side is greater than on the other. To straighten a warp, add moisture to the dried-out side. Place the wood cupped side down on damp towels in strong sun. Place some light weights on top of the wood during the flattening process.

Alligator hide:

This is the dried-out appearance that occurs when dry air and changing temperature and humidity cause crack lines in the finish. Dissolve the old finish with Minwax® Antique Furniture Refinisher, then apply a protective finish such as Minwax® Antique Oil or Minwax® Tung Oil Finish to restore luster to the wood.