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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

What is the cheapest, simplest way to freshen up the wood on this sofa?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23285 points ) January 19th, 2012

I have a couch that has a wooden frame, arms and legs, and a cushioned seat.
It was given to us by someone that owned large dogs, so the wood was not beautiful to begin with. Ultimately, we use the sofa for our dogs. It is really the dogs’ couch. It keeps them off of our nicer furniture, and they have a spot to sleep.
Both arms, which are wood, are pretty scuffed and scratched after several years of the dogs hopping up and down. I do not want to invest a lot of time or money into fixing this, but I am getting sick of looking at the damaged arms. Since, it is going to remain a spot for the dogs to lie, I don’t want to replace it.. but I would like to camouflage some of the damage, if possible. Just so that it doesn’t look like a piece of junk in my computer room.
Can I just scrub it down and put a coat of stain on it? If so, what kind? Should I attempt to match it to the current shade of wood, or go lighter? Darker?
I don’t want to strip it and/or sand it. It’s not even remotely that important to me. :)

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16 Answers

marinelife's avatar

First, before restaining it, you will need to sand the wood. I would clean and sand it, and then restain it (probably a dark stain to be more au courant).

Failing that, you can get scratch cover to match most stain and apply it to the scratches. That should help improve the appearance.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@marinelife sand it down completely? :\ Or just, give it a light sanding?

marinelife's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf A light sanding will be fine. Just to give some ‘tooth” for the new stain to stick to.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@marinelife thanks. I can probably handle that.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf You can do a light sanding. If it were me, I’d use an all in one stain with a finish like Minwax or Zinzer. In the paint/stain section of your hardware store they all in one stains should be very near the sanding supplies.

Then after sanding, I’d do 3 to 5 light coats (so they dry fast) and Voila you’re done. These products are good for quick touch ups once you’ve used them on the surface, too. Since they dry fast, you can easily take a ½ hour, go over minor scratches that occur in the future.

However, if you really want to protect this, then I recommend 3–4 coats of a good polyurethane. It’d be near impossible for them to scratch it again.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@SpatzieLover really? That’s handy to know, thanks very much.

SpatzieLover's avatar

One more tip: Since this is for animal usage, I’d choose the matte finish. It will show less of the scratches, gloss (even semi-gloss) accentuates flaws.

rebbel's avatar

I don’t know how deep the scratches are that are in the wood, but if they are superficial you could do the following: wet the wood (not pouring wet, but wet them with a wet cloth) and then use an iron to dry it (place a dry cloth between the wood and the iron).
The drying process will (hopefully) pull the grains/fibers of the wood up (‘filling’ the scratches).
Then sand it lightly with a high number sanding paper (200 about).
Then do as the others before me advised you.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@SpatzieLover yes, that was my plan. I agree, wholeheartedly.
@rebbel it’s a mix. They are pretty beat up. I don’t expect to take it on as a simple project, and for it to look like new, but I just want to camouflage some of the damage. That’s a neat trick, though, should I ever have another project with less damage. Good to know.

rebbel's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Then it seems useless, I am afraid (my ironing thing).

SuperMouse's avatar

Before sanding it or trying to refinish, check out Restor-a-Finish. It should work well enough to make the couch easier on the eyes with no where near as much work. I have used it on all kinds of furniture and have had really good luck, even with relatively deep scratches.

WestRiverrat's avatar

After you get it restained and resealed, I would go over it with Murphy’s oil on a regular basis.

majorrich's avatar

Another approach would be to sand the arms smooth and apply tung oil. rub it in real good and it soaks into the wood to a natural finish. Bad scratches can then be touched up with a bit of the oil, or even mayonnaise

YARNLADY's avatar

I have seen the suggestion that you could use a crayon, but I haven’t actually tried it.

snowberry's avatar

Polyeurethane doesn’t do well in the sun.

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