Some pieces of wood furniture have sentimental value, others have real dollar value and some we just love for no particular reason. Furniture is subjected to a lot of use and abuse. Accidents happen which can cause dents in the surface of the timber such as your kids decide to start a hockey game in your living room or the neighborhood play they are putting on calls for beating your furniture with a mace. Even crashing into a table with the vacuum or dopping something on the timber can cause a dent in the timber. No matter how small the dint is, it detracts from the beauty. The good news is dents in wood furniture can be fixed and some will become hardly noticeable depending on how deep the dint is and if there is damage such as split wood surrounding the dint.

Repairing Small Dents

This method works very well for small dents and dents that the timber is not splintered, split or otherwise damaged.

Bring water to a boil in a pot on the stove.

Squeeze the bulb of an eye dropper to pick up some hot water from the pot.

Squeeze the bulb of the eye dropper to fill the dint with the boiling water, drop by drop.

Allow the hot water to sit in the dint and swell the timber until the dint flush with the rest of the surface.

Wipe the water up and allow the surface to dry for an hour or two.

If the dent has risen, but is not flush with the surface, repeat the process.

Repairing Large or Deep Dents

This technique is for dents that have not splintered or broken the timber.

Wet a towel and wring it out slightly so it is wet, but not dripping.

Lay the wet towel over the dent.

heat a clothing iron on a medium setting.

Place the iron over the dent and only the dent. Use the tip of the iron rather than the entire bottom plate. Use care not to touch the hot iron to the wood surface. Place dry towels around the wet towel to protect the rest of the surface.

Allow the steam created from the iron to swell and raise the dent.

Repairing Splintered Dents

Pick out loose splinters by hand or with tweezers.

Use a 220-grit  sandpaper to sand the splintered edges smooth.

Place light tack masking tape around the damaged area as close to the edges as possible.

Use a flexible, plastic putty knife to apply wood putty until it sits just above the surface the of the furniture.

Allow the wood putty to dry completely.

Sand the wood putty surface with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth and even out the wood putty making it level with the surface of the surounding wood.

Use a scratch cover pen and apply light coats of scratch cover to slowly build up the color to match the rest of the furniture finish.

Allow the scratch cover to dry.

Apply a coat of paste was to protect the surface.


If the furniture is very expensive, the damage is extensive or it has a lot of sentimental value, you may want to have a furniture restoration specialist repair it.