Repairing Scratches in Lacquered or Stained Timber

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You can damage timber no matter how careful you are, but there are ways of disguising the marks without spending a fortune. Tho people say you can use a childs texta / marker or even boot polish, the best way is to use a genuine timber stain. The texta / marker or boot polish remedy can react with your furniture coating causing more damage. Or simply come off next time you clean your timber.

A genuine, furniture grade timber stain, is permeant and easy to apply with a touch up pen.

Colour Selection.

Ok, don't worry about the name of a colour, it's the appearance of the colour that matters.

Many manufactures of timber products today will re-name a colour or give it their own name. The type of timber can also change the appearance of a timber stain. So, you need to pick a colour that resembles the lightest part of your timber. Start with a light colour and the strength or depth of colour can be built up with multiple applications of the touch up pen.

Try to work out if your timber is pine or hardwood. Look carefully at the scratch and check the manufactures label. Look for unstained timber on the back of bedheads or book shelves, under drawers, tables or chairs. For flooring  you may be able to find untreated timber in a cupboard or beneath the edge of your skirtingboard.

Large, open grain, pale yellow timber, which you can dent or mark with your figurenail is most likely pine.

Small, tight grain, with a pinking or greyish colour to it, that won't dent with just the pressure of your fingernail is most likely a hardwood.

Check the sample photos of available colours on pine & hardwood and select your colour. If your still not sure of your timber type, go for a light colour in the same tones as the timber to be repaired.


Caution! Do Not Use a cleaning product which contains silicone.  Silicone seeps through lacquer and paint into your timber and can cause problems by reappearing in your new coat of paint and creating strange marks.

Clear away any dust and dirt, loose fibers of timber and flakes of lacquer. Vacume or brush with a soft clean brush.

Have a clean, lint free cloth on hand.

And your touch up pen!   :-)

Practice on a scrap of timber to get the feel of the pen and how the stain flows. Work out which part of the tip of the pen you need to use. The very tip for fine lines and dots of colour or the broad flat of the pen for large areas or multiple fine scratches.


Gently apply the touch up pen to the scratch and move along the full length in one movement. You don't need to apply pressure. Wipe the excess stain off with the clean cloth in the direction of the grain. Let dry for 10 or 15 minuets. If required, reapply the touch up pen to the scratch to darken or build up the colour strength.

Alway re-cap the pen after use and store horizontally.

If the scratch is very deep or is more like a dent or chip, you may need to use a Wax Repair Stick.

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