Need Help Eliminating Scratches/Scrapes


Hammer5573
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That depends. Clear finish, or opaque?

There are grain filler products designed to provide a smooth surface under clear finishes. Aquacoat comes to mind, and I think Crystalac may be another. These will not hide scratches, though, only fill them so they don't telegraph through the finish.

For opaque finishes, as in "paint", Bondo works magnificently.  Buy their "wood putty" product if you prefer, but as far as I can tell during use, it is the same product as their auto body filler.  I've used both, and can't tell a difference in the results.

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On 1/19/2023 at 12:50 PM, wtnhighlander said:

Buy their "wood putty" product if you prefer, but as far as I can tell during use, it is the same product as their auto body filler.  I've used both, and can't tell a difference in the results

A knowledgeable person told me that they are indeed the same.

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If the scratches and scrapes are indeed minor, probably a light sanding to give the original finish some tooth and then a new coat or two of finish will do the job. If you don't know what the original finish is then apply a coat of dewaxed shellac and then a couple of coats of new finish.

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I'll take a whack at this.  I assume we are talking about damage caused during assembly and prior to finishing.  Towels, rag-rugs or old pieces of carpet on working surfaces can help prevent the damage in the first place as can pre-finishing certain parts.

As stated, for mild scratches a card scraper or additional sanding should do the trick.  Deep scratches are another matter and would need to have enough material removed to eliminate them if translucent finishes are to be used.  For heavy pigmented stains and paint that will cover repairs . . . I like the Bondo idea.

I have pulled pretty severe accidental dents out of material with the damp paper towel and clothes iron trick.  The main difference being that dents contain bent, but not broken, wood fibers.  These dents become invisible with moisture and heat.  Torn or broken fibers will absorb finishes differently than the whole fibers around them and so become obvious.

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I appreciate all of the informative responses; however, I don’t think that I explained the situation completely. Im making a Newport Blockfront cabinet using cherry. The cabinet has curved drawer fronts and requires extensive sanding and the use of a spokeshave. The scratches and dents that I’m referring to are very small ( less that 3/16” long and the dents are less than 1/32” deep). This may not seem like much; however, when trying to remove them it requires extensive sanding which then changes the contour of the curved surfaces. I’ve done auto-body work on the past and would simply glaze over the area with Bondo. I was hoping that there was a product for wood out there which served the same purpose.

 

 

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As mentioned above, put a drop of water on the dent and/or scratch and keep repeating enough to keep it wet for a while. Let it dry and the wood will likely swell removing the dent or scratch. Sand and finish. If that doesn't work, apply enough clear epoxy to fill them. Sand smooth. The epoxy will be thin enough to look like your clear finish and be virtually invisible. I've done this numerous times to hide small chip-outs. Works great.

If you plan to stain it, gel stain will work better over the epoxy "patches".

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