How to Restore Scratched and Worn Wood

By on October 26, 2012

Every time I look through a Pottery Barn catalog, I always find myself scrutinizing the details. Noticing how and what is staged in their photos, regardless of whether or not it is an item for sale!

Lately, I have been loving the wood boxes that they show in a room or shelving display- it adds warmth and a sense of groundedness to the space.

Not too long ago, I came across this wood box.

natural sunscreen with zinc oxide

I loved that it had a hinged lock, aged brass handles on the side, and a simple, functional shape.

It looked terrible with all the scratches and huge watermark on the lid.

It didn’t faze me one bit.

You can easily buff out stuff like this, and it is simple and inexpensive to do.

There are a few products out there- I used Old English.

It’s readily available in most stores where they sell cleaning supplies.

I first tried it out on our coffee table in our family room.

You can read about that here.

After I cleaned the surface dirt off of the box, I used a clean rag to dab the Old English onto the scratches and watermark.


Once those were covered, I went over the entire surface of the box again, and then buffed it with a new clean rag.

It’s hard to see where the flaws were, huh?


It took me all of 2 minutes to restore this little guy.

Old English comes in a light and dark stain, I used the dark for this restoration and for our coffee table.

Does this have you looking at thrift shop items differently?

Maybe next time you won’t pass on something because it seems like too much work! 🙂

I wrote this post out of my own accord. No one from the company has ever contacted me to write a post on their product. I really like it, and wanted to let you in on one of my DIY secrets!


Originally posted on Pink Postcard.

About Denise Biggins

Denise Biggins is a home decor, vintage, and DIY lifestyle blogger. She loves to share creative and personal touches for the home and vintage furniture restoration. She lives in the Pacific NW with her husband, daughter and pug, Bella. Her Website:

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How to Restore Scratched and Worn Wood