How to Repair Scratches on Wood Cabinets and Furniture

Unsightly scratches on stained wood cabinets before repair.
Unsightly scratches on stained wood cabinets before repair.

To hide scratches on stained or natural wood cabinets and furniture:

  • Stain: Apply a matching stain to the scratch, wipe off any excess with a soft, clean cloth. Allow the stain to dry, then apply a coat of finish (such as polyurethane) over it.
  • Touch-Up Pen: Apply a matching furniture touch up stain pen or marker to the scratch, and wipe off any excess with a soft, clean cloth.
  • Wax Pencil: For deep scratches, rub the indentation with a colored wax furniture pencil or crayon that matches the color of the wood. Use a clean, soft cloth to remove any excess wax. Don’t apply a coat of finish over the repair, as the finish won’t adhere well to the wax.
  • Walnut: Rub the meat from a walnut on the scratch to color and fill it in. Wipe off any excess.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Amy Hughes: Hey, what’re you doing? You’re snacking? Snacker!

Danny Lipford: Well, yeah. I like walnuts. Walnuts are pretty good. Would you like one?

Amy Hughes: Uh, no, thank you. But I want to know…

Danny Lipford: This is going to solve our problem with the scratches.

Amy Hughes: A walnut?

Danny Lipford: Yeah.

Amy Hughes: Really?

Danny Lipford: Well, first of all, ordinarily if you have a scratch like this, and you have the stain like we had that I poured a little in a cup. Take some sandpaper, like this is 320-grit, sand this down a little bit, then use a rag, dab it on there to kind of cover up the stain, and then you’re going to have to come back and put a little polyurethane over it. Or there’s all kinds of like, putty pencils.

Amy Hughes: Oh, yeah, I’ve seen the little pens.

Danny Lipford: And the little markers. These work pretty good. But watch this. Now, watch on this one right here. Simple walnut. You believe that? Look at that.

Amy Hughes: That’s impressive. Really? A walnut?

Danny Lipford: Yeah. And then, you know, because it’s oily, it’ll stay in there really well.

Amy Hughes: Huh.

Danny Lipford: You know, even on these darker edges like this. Look.

Amy Hughes: Oh, that’s incredible. I don’t understand. I mean, how does it… I mean, how does it work?

Danny Lipford: It’s a walnut.


  1. Nice video. Thanks for this informative tip. I agree with the marker. Repair nicks and scratches with a touch up marker or filler pencil. This is one effective way to repair scratches and you can’t even distinguish the original from your furniture.


    • Hi, Elizabeth!

      Danny briefly explained in the video. It’s all in the walnut’s oils. 🙂

      Those oils seep into the problem area and do the job.

      As for why a walnut has those magical oils, Danny’s answer stands: “It’s a walnut.” Only Mother Nature truly knows.
      Thanks for commenting!


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