How to Repair Exterior Wood Table Finish How to Repair Exterior Wood Table Finish

Outdoor wooden tables are often subject to the ravages of time, weather, and general use, and from time to time, you will need to have the wood table finish repaired. Before you can begin repairing the table, it is important to determine the composition of the finish—whether it is varnish, lacquer, polyurethane, etc. Once you have determined the wood’s finish, you will want to make sure you can replicate it exactly, or simply purchase an additional amount if you know the right brand and color, so that you will have a perfect match to use as the last step of your repair efforts. Some common repairs on outdoor wood furniture include fixing scratches, cracks, dents, and burns.

Step 1 — Repairing Scratches

One of the easiest repairs to make on an outdoor wood table is to fix a scratch. Scratches can be caused by simple wear and tear from everyday use or perhaps from falling branches if the table is near trees, or even from the claws of small animals running across its surface. Whatever the cause of your scratch, the first thing you will want to do is determine its depth. Scratches that exist only on the surface of the wood can often times be filled in and corrected using a wood finish pen available at most hardware stores. This is a quick-fix, but you can run into the issue with the color of the finish (i.e. the pen may not match up exactly), so proper care must be taken.

Step 2 — Repairing Cracks and Dents

Some scratches are too deep to be repaired with a quick fix. These larger imperfections and other issues with your table, such as cracks and dents, require more care and patience to repair them. The first thing you will want to do is sand around the area in question. It is important that the wood be sanded very smoothly. Once the area is smooth, you can begin by filling it in with wood putty. This putty can be found at most hardware stores and is available in a wide variety of colors and styles. For this purpose, any color will do since the affected area will ultimately be finished properly. After the putty has dried completely, re-sand the entire area and then apply the appropriate stain or finish to the wood to cover up the repair.

Step 3 — Repairing Burns

Repairing a burn in an outdoor wood table, whether from a cigar or cigarette, or perhaps from an outdoor grill, may seem like a daunting task. It is in fact very easy to fix. Using either a chisel or wood gouge, remove the burnt section of the wood. Be very careful not to take out too much extra table material, as you will only end up making more unnecessary work for yourself. Once the burnt section is removed, proceed to fill in the area completely with wood putty (again, the exact color is not important here). Once the putty has dried completely, sand the area and then apply the appropriate finish to match the look and feel of your original furniture.

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