Repair and touch up wood

Does your wood furniture need some TLC, or perhaps you want to restore an antique piece. Here are some wood repair tricks you can easily tackle as a do-it-yourself project.


You can hide a damaged finish on antique furniture or any fine woodwork by using retouch crayons for filling and masking superficial scratches on wood.

Liberon Retouch Crayons can be used to fill scratches, nail holes, worm holes etc. in furniture and other woodwork. Easy to use, they are available in a wide range of colours: Mahogany, Pine, Oak, Mixed, Kitchen and Walnut.


Retouch crayons are rubbed across the scratch until it is filled and then allowed to harden before buffing with a soft cotton cloth. You can even blend colours together to create your own shade for matching with the colour of existing wood. The filler does not shrink and will not fall out after application - it expands and contracts with the wood itself.

Make your own wood filler

As you become more involved in doing-it-yourself you get to pick up quite a few tricks and techniques. One of these is making your own wood filler. Now I'm sure that many of you are thinking - why? Wood fillers are handy to have for general filling of board and timber products, but when you are restoring a piece of furniture you need to match the colour as closely as possible to the original, and that's where standard wood fillers fall short. There are a lot of colours on the shelf out there, but they're just close matches.


Shave off a small amount of the original finish, from an inconspicuous area or any drilled holes, and save the sawdust. This is mixed with wood glue - preferably Ponal wood glue, which dries to a clear, sandable finish - to give you an exact match.

Repair dents and gouges in wood

Quikwood is an epoxy resin specially formulated for wood repair and is ideal for filling nail holes, stripped screw holes, corners, scratches gouges and knots. Just slice off what you need for the repair, knead together with your fingers until it is all one color and then apply and shape. You have a 10 minute working time and the product hardens in 1 hour, after which it can be sanded, drilled, painted or stained.

Quickwood is a two-part epoxy filler that gives you the ability to fix just about anything. It is hand mixable, quick and easy-to-use and is great for reshaping carvings, furniture restoration, or where strong repairs are needed.


Simply slice off a piece putty, knead together with fingers and form into place and let dry.

Revitalise waxed or sealed wood

If the surface of your furniture is looking dull or lacklustre, or there are white rings on the surface, you can easily revive the finish. Use Woodoc steelwool and mineral turpentine to remove all the old wax or sealer before reapplying one of the Woodoc range of products, whether you want a matt, velvet or gloss finish.


Use Woodoc SteelWool (medium) and mineral turps to remove all of the old polish - working with the grain and then give the surface a final wipe down with a cloth dampened with mineral turpentine. Leave to dry.

Following the instructions on the tin, apply three coats of your choice of Woodoc sealer, sanding down after the first and second lightly with Woodoc SteelWool (fine).

Strip off layered paint with a heat gun


Start off on the lowest setting to see if that lifts the paint and adjust to a higher heat setting if required. Keep the heat gun as least 5 to 6cm away from the wood to prevent scorching.

Guide the heat over the area in a slow circular motion. Never allow the gun to point directly at one spot for more than a few seconds. Though the heat gun does not produce a flame, the heat is hot enough to cause scorching, and in some cases, can set the wood on fire. As the paint begins to bubble, gently scrape the softened paint from the surface with a paint scraper. For best results it is best to work with the heat gun above the paint scraper, softening the paint just before the scraper reaches it (see image above).

Only work in a well-ventilated area, as the fumes produced can be overpowering, and wear gloves to protect yourself from hot paint scrapings.

A heat gun uses hot air and the nozzle gets extremely hot - handle with caution and have a safe surface to place on (out of the way of children and pets) immediately after use.