Lovers of vintage or antique wood furniture know that these older pieces come with compromises. For example, old solid wood furniture was built to last, unlike modern counterparts made of particleboard. But because of that, it can be extremely heavy (i.e. hard to move) and quite expensive if in perfect condition.
That’s another part of the trade-off: furniture that’s been designed to last a lifetime (or even generations) can stay strong, but with regular use it’ll likely pick up scratches, dents and other brands over the years. . The benefit of this, however, is that it means you can score amazing vintage wooden furniture – scratches and knocks included – for low (or at least reasonable) prices.
If scratches and other blemishes and signs of use bother you, there is always the option of touching up the part. But if you’re generally ok with them – or if you’re happy with something that makes stripes noticeably better but not totally perfect, and infinitely less work-intensive – you might want to get your hands on some nuts. Here’s what you need to know.
How to fill scratches on wooden furniture with walnuts
Before we begin, let’s start by saying that the nut trick isn’t going to give you perfect results and make scratches disappear completely. Furthermore, we are aware that this is not a professional or permanent solution. It is, however, a cheap and very simple way to improve the appearance of your wooden furniture. Endorsed by Bob Vila.
Here’s what to do:
- Crack a nut. (Or easier yet, buy some that are already shelled.)
- Rub the nut over/into the scratch in the same direction as the grain of the wood until it looks filled.
- Rub your finger over the nut-filled scratch to warm the wood and release the oils of the nut.
- Let stand for about five minutes.
- Polish the scratch with a clean cloth, soft cloth.
Does the nut trick really work?
After seeing so many dramatic before and after photos of these nutty transformations, I wanted to see if the trick actually produced these results in real life. So, I tried it on an end table and a desk (both purchased at a recent estate sale), and here are the results:
Front End Table Top:
Top of end table after:
Front desk side:
Side of office after:
Certainly, the nut trick worked much better than I expected and produced decent cosmetic results. With that in mind, here are some observations and advice based solely on my own experience:
- Before you start scrubbing, peel off the brown skin from the surface of the nut Meat. Not only does it get in the way when you try to fill in scratches, it can also get stuck inside scratches and dents and make them look After visible only when you started.
- This trick is far more effective on superficial superficial scratches that he’s onto something deeper than that. It’s pretty clear in the photos of the side table. The scratches on the side of the desk were, for the most part, level with the surface, so the walnut made more of a difference.
- Don’t worry about the walnut color matched with wood color. According Bob Vila’s article“the oils from the nut will coat the scratch, filling it in and darkening it”, and that was my experience when I tried it.
- Be sure to take the time to rub the nut with your finger before letting it rest and then polishing it. The only color matching issue I had was when I skipped this step.