Fixing Furniture Dents

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Furniture Dents are Almost Always Minor and Can be Repaired with Relative Ease

Unfortunately furniture dents occur no matter how careful we are. Even in the most protected environment, there is always going to be an accidental bump or drop. In most cases, dents are considered minor and can be fixed relatively easily. In rare cases, dents are severe and require a little bit more work to repair them.

Is it a Ding or a Dent?

Do you have minor damage on your wood furniture but you don’t know whether the damage should be referred to as a ding or a dent? In reality, it doesn’t really matter what you call it. If the wood is damaged it should be evaluated for repair. In some cases you may choose to leave the damaged area as-is, but most dents can be repaired fairly easily.

A minor ding or dent in wood furniture is one that was caused by something falling on the wood or by knocking something into the wood by accident. These types of small problems can be fixed by gently cleaning out the dent and applying a small amount of finish to the area. After the spot dries and is buffed the dent should be hardly noticeable.

Medium-Sized Dents

When a dent is more significant than a tiny indentation on the wood, it is possible to repair the area by raising the wood in the dented spot. This can be accomplished by cleaning the dented area with sandpaper and placing a drop or two of water into the depressed location. When the water soaks into the dent, the underlying wood will expand and fill in the area. This technique can be attempted on both hard and soft woods.

The trick to fixing dented wood by applying water to the area is letting the water sit for at least a day or more. It can take up to two or three days for the water to soak into the wood and cause the wood to expand. If the water does not soak into the dented area as well as you would like, you may need to create a few small holes in wood using a pin or a small nail so the water has an inlet. This is often necessary when dealing with hard woods.

Once the water seeps into the wood and the wood becomes raised to fill in the dented area, the furniture should be allowed to sit for at least a week. Then, the area can be coated with a matching finish, buffed, waxed and polished. In most cases it is hard to detect that a dent ever existed in the repaired area.

Large Dents

In the case of large furniture dents, it may be necessary to use a hot iron in order to encourage the wood to rise. When attempting to fix a large dent, a damp cloth should be placed over the damaged area. By pressing a hot iron over the cloth, the wood will swell. This will cause the dent to fill and essentially disappear. Once dry, replacement finish should be added and the furniture must be buffed, waxed and polished.


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