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MicheleleynD's avatar

Cherry table with scratch was filled in with gloss and ruined more! Need help!

Asked by MicheleleynD (12points) November 9th, 2010

My ex boyfriend put a long fairly deep scratch in my expensive cherry wood dining table. He thought he was “fixing” it by purchasing some wood gloss at a hardware store and “filling” it in, however managed to smear the gloss around the scratch so now it looks like a scratch with clear fingernail polish on it. Is it possible to remove this gloss or diminish it’s appearance or use something to even it all out? The grain is very unique and there are patterns, so I would like to deviate away from having to sand and re-finish, but will if necessary. Anyone know what I could do on a budget? Thanks!!!!!

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16 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Sadly, your choices are limited. Either live with the scratch or refinish the entire table top the old-fashioned way. There are no short cuts.

Cherry wood is beautiful ( and costly, as you know) and you may want to bite the bullet and get out the sander. And find a more careful boyfriend.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

If the table is solid cherry, then I’d second what @gailcalled has already said. There’s probably nothing for it but a complete refinish, if the marring has now become “a smear” instead of “a scratch”.

But that’s if it’s solid cherry. If it’s a cherry veneer on some other wood, or on particleboard, then sanding a “deep” scratch could remove the entire veneer layer. So know what you’re dealing with before you start sanding.

What I have often recommended for surface scratches is… a crayon. I know, it sounds too cheap, too sleazy and too easy, and it’s certainly not perfect. You’ll never “hide” the scratch that way, but if you can find a color that’s close enough to the rest of the table finish you can often camouflage it pretty well. And it saves a ton of work.

gailcalled's avatar

If we’re talking cheating, you can also rub a walnut half on the scratch.

crisw's avatar

The crayon and walnut tricks may work, but you may need to remove the excess finish first. You can try very fine- like 0000— steel wool, lubricated with some liquid soap. No guarantees, as I don’t know what finish your table has or what your boyfriend patched it with- lots of finishes are incompatible with each other.

MicheleleynD's avatar

Hmmmm…well, I am not too concerned with the scratch itself. I am moreso concerned with the gloss he put over it. I was told I could possibly use terpintine or rubbing alcohol to soften it, lightly sand it or perhaps use the fine steel wool and then polish the entire table? It IS solid cherry with a stain.

gailcalled's avatar

Solid cherry is worth repairing correctly. I would be very careful about rubbing turpentine or denatured alcohol on a small spot.

crisw's avatar

Agreed with @gailcalled , especially if you don’t know what the original finish was- alcohol can really damage delicate finishes like shellac or lacquer.

YARNLADY's avatar

Please, remove all doubt, consult a professional. This is not something to play around with.

kelly's avatar

Most moving companies, especially the national ones, have furniture restoration specialists on retainer for “boo-boos” incurred by movers during transit etc. You may be able to find such a specialist by contacting a local office of a large moving company. Also an antique store that specializes in furniture may be a source of expertise. Good Luck

BarnacleBill's avatar

Welcome to Fluther. I have had good luck with a franchised company called Furniture Medic. They come to your home and fix furniture on the spot.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Wait, was that a pun, @BarnacleBill ? You think you can sneak a pun past a mod in General? You’re really throwing caution to the winds there, Bud.

But it sounds like a good idea anyway.

BarnacleBill's avatar

No, seriously. This company comes into homes and businesses and does minor furniture repairs on the spot. I had them reattach a table top to a dining room table, reglue veneer, and resurface a dresser top that my daughter spilled perfume on and ruined a spot about the size of a bread plate. My neighbor just had them out to reglue wooden chairs.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I can vouch for @BarnacleBill‘s response. I’ve only seen their work in hotels that have used the company, and they do quality work. I had no idea that they did residential work as well.

MicheleleynD's avatar

Are they costly?

BarnacleBill's avatar

The tabletop fix was $150 – it took him about 2 hours, and involved glue, clamps, extra screws, and tools I don’t own. The veneer repair was $75, and the dresser resurfacing was $250. It was a high gloss finish (really nice Baker dresser); you cannot tell where the work was done. It was far cheaper than sending the dresser out to a refinisher, and far less hassle.

MicheleleynD's avatar

Not bad! Thanks so much for the advice!

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