How to Repair Lacquered Furniture

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What You'll Need
Liquid furniture polish
Soft clean cloths
Denatured alcohol
Cigarette ash
Linseed, vegetable, or mineral oil
Hard furniture wax
Handful of pecan or walnuts
Furniture wax sticks
Fine steel wool
Credit card
Matching oil-based stain

It both looks bad and spells trouble when the lacquer finish on your wood furniture gets damaged. When the finish chips, it can show discolored material underneath, and if it gets gouged all the way to the wood, moisture and debris can enter and cause more permanent damage. But don't worry; it is easy to repair blemishes in this type of furniture finish on your own.

Step 1 - Assess Damage

Examine the site in question to determine the severity of the damage; different issues must be dealt with in different ways. Also, keep in mind that what may look like a scratch may actually just be a stain on the surface, so be thorough. Lightly running your fingernail over the surface can help you tell the difference and determine whether there is any depression present in the wood.

Step 2 - Remove Stains

Though the finish on lacquered furniture is designed to protect the wood, this does not mean that it is resistant to stains. Glasses can leave white rings from condensation and other spilled substances may result in discoloration. Try scrubbing such areas firmly with furniture polish first. If this doesn't work, dampen a cloth with a small amount of alcohol and gently rub at the stains while regularly checking the condition of the area as you go.

If this fails as well, use an abrasive treatment and ready-made substances. You can also make your own by mixing a little cigarette ash with some oil until you form a paste. Rub the paste over the stain, going with the grain, before wiping it away with a clean cloth. Finish off by waxing and polishing the repair site.

Step 3 - Minor Scratches

To quickly hide minor scratches, crack open a pecan or walnut and break the meat in half before rubbing the broken surface against the scratch; this will help to blend the color of the scratch to that of the rest of the furniture.

In the event that you have more time for repairs, try furniture wax instead. Apply a little to the scratch with some steel wool, keeping it in line with the grain. Finish off by using a soft cloth to buff the surface.

Step 4 - Deep Scratches and Dents

Deep scratches on lacquered furniture can be more problematic as they are more difficult to rectify. Obtain a furniture wax stick in the same color as the item you need to repair. This will need to be pressed firmly into the scratch or gouge until it is filled. Smooth the surface and remove the excess by lightly dragging a credit card over the repair site—do not use anything that can scratch the surface.

Leave the wax to dry completely in accordance with the instructions and apply stain afterwards, if necessary, being carefully to only apply it to the repaired area. Once this is dry, apply some hard furniture wax to buff it.